President Mirziyoyev highlighted an expected 15 percent decrease in the flow of the Amudarya and Syrdarya rivers over the next twenty years during a meeting on the socio-economic development of the Surkhandarya region in Termiz.
The President acknowledged the expanding use of water-saving technologies in the region but emphasized its insufficiency. Presently, 80 percent of Surkhandarya's land is irrigated by pumps, 52 of which have a service life exceeding 40 years. Consequently, the cost of water has doubled, leading to a waste of 20 million kilowatt-hours of electricity yearly and deteriorating water supply across another 20,000 hectares.
Further concerns were raised about the irrigation network; half of the 1,700-kilometer network is covered in soil, causing a 35 percent loss of water.
Mirziyoyev stressed the need to embed the understanding that 'water is not free' into daily life, calling for collaboration between neighborhood activists, intellectuals, and the public.
During the meeting, officials were tasked with developing a two-year program to concrete 47 canals, repair 6 canals with significant water loss, secure $60 million for repairing the "Sherabad Highway" canal in the coming year, and allocate resources to restore 90 thousand hectares of land.
Previously, President Mirziyoyev expressed concerns about the Koshtepa canal construction by the Taliban, stating that its launch could fundamentally alter the water regime and balance in Central Asia. He proposed the creation of a joint working group involving international experts to comprehensively study the canal's construction.v