National Water Resources Management in Kyrgyzstan

Project completed

Water resources management remains ineffective in the Kyrgyz Republic, but the Water Code based on of Integrated Water Resources Management principles and adopted in 2005, provides stewardship for improved water resources governance and management. However the government lacks technical capacity and financial resources to implement the code. The project will assist the country in strengthening and improving water resources management capability and irrigation service delivery for the benefit of water users by enforcement of the water code.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Central Asia
Water diplomacy and security
01.01.2013 - 31.12.2019
CHF  8’800’000

In January 2005, a new and comprehensive modern Water Code based on IWRM principles was signed into legislation in Kyrgyzstan. With the Water Code, the foundations have been set for comprehensive management of water resources from the river basin to the field, enabling better control and management of these resources. However, due to political turbulences in the period of 2005 -2010 and constant restructuring of the government, the Code has not yet been implemented.


The goal of the proposed phase of the project is to strengthen and improve water resources management capability and irrigation service delivery for the benefit of water users. The National Water Council - the supreme decision making body as per the Water Code - convened for its first meeting in February 2013 and endorsed the Code implementation roadmap. The project will provide technical assistance to the country to implement to the above-mentioned roadmap at the national, basin and river or irrigation system levels.

Target groups

National Water Council as a supreme decision making structure as per the Water Code; The Department of Water Resources and Land Improvement (DWRLI) irrigation water management structure with its 5’200 employees; Basin level branches of DWRLI with up to 3’000 operation Staff; Irrigation systems managing organizations; 481 Water User Associations in command or 737’400ha of land.

Medium-term outcomes
  • Strengthen National Water Management Capacity and Implementation of the Water Code
  • Improve irrigation service delivery by DWRLI
  • Improve on- and off-farm irrigation systems’ management by strengthening Water Users Associations 

Results from previous phases:  

The main lesson learnt is that the water resources sector should be guided into evolutionary development and that water resources management capacities should be gradually built within the existing institutional framework.

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Swiss cooperation with Eastern Europe
Project partners Contract partner
International Financial Institution (IFI)
  • World Bank - International Development Association
  • World Bank, as administrator and supervisor of the Swiss of Trust Fund; Department of Water Resources and Land Improvement under the Ministry of Agriculture of the Kyrgyz Republic, bearing overall implementation responsibility

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    8’800’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    8’801’686
Project phases Phase 2 01.09.2019 - 31.12.2024   (Current phase)

Phase 1 01.01.2013 - 31.12.2019   (Completed)