The Toktogul hydroelectric power station is the only reservoir in Central Asia that has a formula for long-term regulation, in other words, water resources may be used more efficiently to meet Central Asian countries’ irrigation needs. Kyrgyzstan provides services to neighbouring countries, such as collecting, storing and discharging water from the reservoir in accordance with a procedure which meets Uzbekistan’s and Kazakhstan’s interests. Therefore we are entitled to demand payment for these services, [Kyrgyz Industry, Energy and Fuel Resources Minister] Saparbek Balkibekov has said.
Balkibekov said: “In my opinion, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan must pay us for services of this kind, in other words, the cascade of Toktogul [hydroelectric power engineering facilities] will change over to a purely irrigation system in future. We currently use it in generating power. “
The minister said that the downstream countries’ economy, in the first place their agriculture, depended mostly on Kyrgyzstan’s water resources. Kyrgyzstan intends to fine-tune its policy on its own resources so that it meets the interests of both Kyrgyzstan and countries of Central Asia.
Balkibekov noted “In this regard, the construction of the Kambar-Ata 1 and Kambar-Ata 2 hydroelectric power stations is of crucial importance not only to Kyrgyzstan but also to Central Asia.”
According to information, Prime Minister Igor Chudinov recently sent a proposal to the prime ministers of three countries asking them to gather in Bishkek on 29 February 2008 in order to work out a coordinated programme on using water and energy resources for this year.
Balkibekov said: “Regrettably an Uzbekistan delegation was unable to come. Due to this, we have had to postpone the meeting indefinitely. The problem is that in the first place this is necessary for the interests of entire Central Asia.”
There has been a shortage of water in recent times. Given this, we are urging and asking our neighbouring countries to change over to long-term agreements on jointly using water and energy resources of the the Naryn-Syr Darya cascade, the energy minister said.