Greening water sector of Kazakhstan is the only solution for sustainable economy.

22 Dec 2015

Economic recession has brought attention of many policy makers to take a closer look into a Green Economy model. Kazakhstan is among the countries that have adopted a concept of transition to a Green economy model as a strategy to move towards a more sustainable economy. 

Now what is Green economy? The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) defines green economy as “one that results in improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities.” So, green economy generates growth, creates employment and reduces poverty, whilst protecting natural resources.

Shifting to green economy requires careful use of natural resources, especially water that differs from other resources. Water is more fundamental for all forms of life, ecosystems, social and economic development of all nations. Water is considered as a renewable resource but its deposits are limited. Due to climate change, urbanization, industrialization and population growth, the amount of water globally is decreasing.

Unfortunately, Kazakhstan is not an exception. Deputy Chairman of the Water resources committee of Ministry of Agriculture of Kazakhstan said that every year water flow volume in Kazakhstan is decreasing. The country faces shortage of both fresh water, and water used for industrial and agricultural purposes, due to pollution, inadequate use of water in agriculture, lack of water basins, ineffective water management. According to the analysis of water resources in Kazakhstan by Ms. Dzhuatova and Ms. Seydullayeva half of all country’s fresh water is used for irrigation. Industrial businesses use up to 30% of all water, leaving only 8% for housing and energy sectors. Other economic sectors use up to 9% of water reserves. Around 2% is used for forestry and fishery industry.

So you see that water is crucial for small businesses, global industries, major agribusinesses and energy production.  If water access is unreliable, it means higher costs for businesses, hence more expensive products for consumers. Effective water management is also vital for transboundary rivers. Crisis of the Aral Sea is a vivid example of ineffective management of Transboundary River. Water level in the sea has fallen dramatically as a result of extensive use of water for irrigation and consequent drying up of many tributaries before they could even reach the main rivers. This was a factor of  the economic and environmental crisis in the region.

Water resources are essential assets, and effective management of water is the shared economic responsibility of farms and factories, businesses and individuals, communities and industries. Deficit of water will affect all of us. The only way to avoid deficit of water is to integrate “green” technologies with responsible use of water.  So Green economy model is the only way into the future. 

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