A USAID project to develop a regional economic model for the integrated use of Aral Sea basin water resources was granted to a consortium of DHI, COWI and GWP Central Asia and Caucasus (GWP CACENA), with GWP CACENA being asked to coordinate the project. A working meeting was held on 7-9 December 2011 to elaborate specific assignments for national experts from five countries.
“GWP CACENA has been selected to coordinate the project since it is the only platform able to overcome the mistrust among the countries,” said Dr. Danka Thalmeinerova, acting Network Officer for the region.
Integrated, operational scenarios will be developed for existing and potential storage reservoirs in the Aral Sea basin’s two main rivers. National experts will be responsible for contributing to the concept, collecting, analysing and processing both hydrological and economic data. This data will be inserted into the General Algebraic Modeling System (GAMS model) to derive scenarios of water allocation, economic assessment of potential use and economic impacts in five economic sectors (agriculture, energy, sanitation, industry, and nature). The project is also supported by the International Fund for Saving of Aral Sea (IFAS) to guide future investments.
“GWP CACENA’s convening power to gather national experts from all five countries involved has the potential to create outputs which will be accepted by all countries,” said Thalmeinerova.