Recently, the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Program introduced agriculture and water as a new cluster in its strategic framework. Recognizing the complexities of the water sector and the existing landscape of cooperation activities, the strategic framework proposes a complementary approach that uses the strengths of CAREC to further promote dialogue on water issues. A scoping study was commissioned, supported by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), to develop a framework for the Water Pillar for further consideration by the governing bodies of CAREC. It was agreed that the initial focus of the Water Pillar should be on the five Central Asian states with consideration given to expanding to other CAREC member countries over time.
The objective of the study is to develop the scope of a Water Pillar Framework that includes a roadmap of national development interventions for each of the five Central Asian Republics that responds to the prevailing challenges and opportunities in water resources management.
The framework will be derived from three specific outputs:
- Output 1: Projection of future availability and demand for water resources for the Central Asia region up to 2050 including implications of climate change.
- Output 2: Identification of future water resources development and management opportunities in the form of a sector specific framework for water resources infrastructure taking into consideration sustainability issues through a comparative assessment of cost recovery mechanisms and operation and maintenance (O&M) practices.
- Output 3: Preparation of a framework for policy and institutional strengthening that addresses common themes and issues related to national water resources legislation and the capacity and knowledge development needs of water resources agencies with an emphasis on economic aspects and sustainable financing.
For this work, FutureWater provides key inputs on the climate change and water resources aspects, including desk review, stakeholder consultations across the five regions and across all sectors, and analysis of climate change risks and identification of adaptation options that have a regional dimension and can be taken up through regional or bilateral cooperation. Following the scoping study, FutureWater supports in the identification of priority activities based on an extensive consultative process in the region, with emphasis on climate resilience. Also it supports the identification of potential water pillar development partners and financing opportunities, including steps needed to qualify for climate finance.