Farmers Need Water!
In Kyrgyzstan, 486 Water User Associations (WUAs) serve 736,000 ha of irrigated land. Due to lack of funds, there is not enough irrigation water available to irrigate all crops to full sufficiency.

" We are located at the tail-end of the Ichki-Aryk canal.

We do not have enough water due to the poor condition of the canals. Our harvest has dried up. We harvested a month ago so as not to worry about it. We expected 15 tons of corn per hectare.

But I managed to get only 50% of this.

Askerbek Mustaev
Resident of the village of Chon-Aryk, Shaidan ayil okmotu, Jalal-Abad oblast
Unfulfilled Obligations
WUAs have two functions:
water distribution to farmers and maintenance of internal irrigation canals.

The law does not allow the participation
of local self-government bodies (LSGs) in these matters.
Aiyl okmotus are legally responsible from the moment of their intervention.
RWMD – Rayon Water Management Departments | WUA – Water Users Associations
If the length of canals under RWMD
is only 5.7 km, then the length of canals under the WUAs is 23.2 km.
If the length of the collector-drainage systems under the RWMD is only 1.2 km, then under the WUAs they are 4.5 km.
For capital repairs, RWMD receives 370 million soms from the republican budget, while WUAs' accumulative budget
for current repair works is only
34.9 million soms.
Internal Irrigation Problems
Need to be Addressed
The country's food security
depends on our farmers.
Unless the laws are amended, the condition of the internal canals will continue deteriorating and reducing crop yields.
The Initiative Group on Internal Irrigation is formed based
on countrywide discussions and calls for change.

To improve the quality of irrigation water for farmers, state irrigation programs must include rehabilitating internal canals, addressing the issue of funding, and legitimizing the role and participation of local governments in this very important issue.
“For example, the length of the Shukurali canal is 3,500 meters. The canal is completely covered with reeds. We clean it mechanically every two years, but due to its poor condition, we cannot deliver water to farmers located in the lower zones. Concreting of its each meter costs $200,"

Toktobek Ablasanov, Representative of WUA.
The New Bill
The Initiative Group on Internal Irrigation conducts discussions throughout the country, investigating the causes of and proposing changes to the laws of the Kyrgyz Republic.
The following amendments are proposed to the
Water Code of the Kyrgyz Republic, the Law of the Kyrgyz Republic "On Water Users Associations", and the Code of Violations of the Kyrgyz Republic:
Expanding the area of responsibility of the state
Expansion of the area of responsibility of the state represented by the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic from the source of irrigation water to each farm, regardless of ownership of irrigation systems and regardless of the status of the subject of irrigation water supply management.
Expanding funding sources for internal irrigation
Creating a legal basis for financing the construction, operation, and repair work of on-farm irrigation systems from various sources of funding, including from the republican and local budgets, as well as from other funds of the budgetary system of the Kyrgyz Republic, not prohibited by the legislation of the Kyrgyz Republic.
Internal Irrigation Choice for Local Communities
The right will be given to WUAs, LSGs, local communities to voluntarily and independently under their own responsibility make decisions on the status of on-farm irrigation facilities and the degree of responsibility of the local community, LSG bodies for the supply of irrigation water in the framework of resolving issues of local importance.
Increasing the responsibility
of water users
The responsibility of WUAs, farmers, and other water users will increase in terms of compliance with the rules of water use and fulfillment of contractual obligations for the supply of irrigation water.

For non-fulfillment by water users of the obligation to pay on time
and/or evasion of payment for water supply services, will be considered a violation and punished with a fine in accordance with the requirements of the Code of Violations of the Kyrgyz Republic
The state body will control the procedure for calculating the payment for water use
The procedure for calculating fees for irrigation services will be controlled by the authorized state body in the field of water resources management. This body will control the correctness and completeness of the calculation of the cost of payment for the use of irrigation water on on-farm irrigation networks.

The approval of the tariff remains in the authority of WUAs, or local self-government, if irrigation facilities are transferred to municipal ownership.
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