Environmental Performance Reviews: Tajikistan

First Review

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Environmental Performance Reviews promote sustainable development throughout Europe. They present detailed studies on the environmental position of each country and examine the framework for environmental policy and management. This evaluation focuses on Tajikistan.

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Water resources management

Water is crucial in Tajikistan both in a national and in a regional context. It is a key economic asset and a vital resource for the nation. It is essential for irrigation agriculture (mostly cotton) and for generating electricity, two major sources of income for the Tajik economy. Moreover, 55% of the water feeding the Aral Sea rises in Tajikistan, putting it at the core of Central Asia’s political stakes around the allocation of water resources (see Chapter 5 on International Cooperation). Tajikistan actually withdraws about 20% of the volume of water formed in the country, which is well under the quota of 35% (18 billion m3/year) agreed upon with its neighbours under regional water-sharing agreements. However, Tajikistan plans to increase its water consumption to boost its cotton crops. Its water use might then exceed its quota unless it can improve its water efficiency. Tajikistan does not make the most of its water resources at the moment as it wastes huge amounts owing to its collapsing water infrastructure.

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