Regular Programme of Technical Cooperation
Dam safety in Central Asia
More than 100 Central Asian dams and water-control facilities are ageing and are not adequately maintained. Meanwhile, the number of people living downstream from these dams is growing. If a dam were to break, the humanitarian and economic consequences could be enormous. Therefore, to prevent such major dam accidents, in collaboration with UNESCAP we launched a project to help the countries work together to ensure safer dams.
The joint project resulted in a model national law on safety of large hydraulic facilities, including dams, intended to be a basis for national harmonized legal frameworks for dam safety. A draft was drawn up of a regional agreement on cooperation on dam safety, which stipulates, inter alia, exchange of information and notification of other countries in case of accidents with dams. The Central Asian countries are active in this work to improve or revise the existing legal provisions and institutional modalities for dam safety.
Tajikistan and Turkmenistan will develop a national law on safety of hydraulic structures including dams by adapting the model law; Kyrgyzstan will create a national commission on safety of dams; Kazakhstan is considering changing its Water Code to incorporate provisions for regulating dam safety.
Uzbekistan is working towards enforcing the law on safety of hydraulic structures, which was adopted in 1999. All the countries are interested in pursuing regional cooperation on dam safety by setting up a legal and institutional framework along the lines of the proposed regional agreement.