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Tajikistan: Initiative to Promote Water Cooperation Goes Flat

Bathtub-style rings show on June 11 where the water in Kyrgyzstan's main reservoir, Toktogul, used to reach in previous years. Though the water flow changes seasonably, and the level should be higher by fall, the reservoir has been unable to meet demand in recent years. (Photo: David Trilling)

The drying out of California is helping to highlight that efficient management of water resources is an increasingly important global issue. Central Asia is among the regions that are vulnerable to what experts call “high water stress,” but in the face of rising danger, regional authorities seem stuck in mud.
 
The inability of Central Asian states to cooperate on water-related issues was on display at a June 9-10 international conference in the Tajik capital, Dushanbe. The event, attended by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, was convened to assess the results of the UN’s “Water for Life” plan, a decade-long initiative launched back in 2005. The almost 2,000 participants heard more than 70 reports at the Dushanbe gathering; yet despite numerous statements of concern, the meeting produced no substantive measures.
 

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Tajikistan: Initiative to Promote Water Cooperation Goes Flat

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