Kazakhstan’s activities to achieve the 6th SDG


Narbaev M.T., Doctor of geographical sciences, Deputy Director of the Executive Board of the International Fund for saving the Aral sea (EB IFAS) in the Republic of Kazakhstan

Speaker of the online process to support global progress towards the SDGs, 24 September 2021, 6:00


Kazakhstan’s activities to achieve the 6th SDG


Dear Sustainathon Participants,

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The global water demand is increasing year by year and is far outstripping the growth of the world’s population, and if the management of water resources and ecosystems is not improved, about two-thirds of humanity will experience significant water shortages in the coming years.

In recent years, Kazakhstan has also faced a progressively increasing shortage of water resources. According to experts, a deficit of water shall account for 13-14 billion cubic meters by 2030 and 20 billion cubic meters, and 2050, accordingly, with $ 6-7 billion of the lost in profits in the sectors of the economy per annum.

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In Kazakhstan, out of eight main river basins seven are of transboundary type; about 45% of the annual renewable surface water resources come from the territory of neighbouring states.

According to forecasts, water resources in the basins of transboundary rivers may decrease by 40% by a year 2030.

The irrational use of water resources, pollution of surface and ground waters, outdated water use technologies, limited quantity of water resources, threat of depletion of water resources, unsolved issues of joint use and protection of transboundary waters, all these issues remain as the main problems in water sector.

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Solution of main issues:

In legislative and institutional area, according to the planned programme, currently, Kazakhstan’s activity is aimed at improvement of the legislative framework for the rational management of water resources through drafting a new version of the Water Codeand at strengthening the institutional structure of water resources management through establishing a Department of Transboundary Rivers under the Ministry of Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources.

In scientific and research area, the existing Kazakh Research Institute of Water Management was transferred under supervision of the Committee on Water Resources of the Ministry of Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources to ensure scientific support in implementation of water projects.

There are various programs and projects are being implemented in the area of water supply and sewerage, water saving, upgrading of water facilities, capacity building of human resources and continuity in generations of water specialists.

As for area of international cooperation, the concerned ministries and departments are involved in the activity of bilateral and multilateral water commissions, the development of water diplomacy and pursuing of water policy and water security in Kazakhstan.

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Implementation of special programs:

In order to ensure the population with sustainable provision of drinking water in the required quantity and guaranteed quality, improve the health of citizens, Kazakhstan has implemented two Programs: “Drinking Water” 2002-2010 and “Akbulak” 2011-2020.

Currently, for the period 2020 – 2025 Kazakhstan adopted the comprehensive State Program of Infrastructure Development “Nurly Zhol” which is under implementation. The work on rehabilitation and reconstruction of regional and district level water supply and sewerage networks shall be covered by this Programme.

For example, in the Kyzylorda region, about 72.0 km of water supply networks and 4.5 km of sewage networks have been rehabilitated on the cost of the allocated budget of $ 7 million in 2020.

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Under the Program “Development of the regions until 2020”, 543 rural settlements have been provided with underground drinking water and some 65 deposits of underground water have been approved as drinking water sources for major settlements. The work on provision of water supply is underway covering 485 rural areas and 35 deposits of underground water.

In 2020, 22 projects on construction of group water pipelines were carried out to ensure the population with drinking water. 1,188 km of water supply networks were built, 76 rural settlements with a population exceeding 327.5 thousand people were provided with drinking water.

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At present, the State Program on Water Resources Management in Kazakhstan until 2030 has been transformed into “Zhasyl Kazakhstan National Project”.

The target indicators of the Programme are as follows:

  • 33% reduction in water consumption per unit of GDP in real terms by 2030;
  • 6 cubic km of additional surface water resources by 2030 (construction of 39 reservoirs);
  • 100% and at least 80% of coverage of urban and rural population with permanent access to the central drinking water supply system until 2030, accordingly;
  • 100% and at least 20% of coverage of urban and rural population with the access to sewerage systems, respectively;
  • 39 cubic km per annum to be ensured for natural objects and maintaining navigation.

The main directions of the State Programme for Water Resources Management are:

  • updating the legal framework;
  • institutional reform of the water sector;
  • modernization, upgrading and development of water infrastructure;
  • international cooperation;
  • environmentally optimal use of water resources;
  • training of water specialists, modern skills and scientific justification.

As part of the modernization and development of water infrastructure it is planned to implement the following works by 2025:

  • nine new reservoirs with a total volume of 1.7 cubic km of water shall be constructed thus reducing the threat of flooding for 20 settlements and resulting in introduction of 195 thousand hectares of new irrigated land with creation of over 20 thousand jobs;
  • 120 channels with a length of 2.3 thousand km shall be rehabilitated;
  • 212 water canals with a length of more than 3.3 thousand km will be digitized; and
  • water-saving technologies will be applied on 750 thousand hectares.


In conclusion, I would like to note that, despite the ongoing work at the national level, we recognize that the solution of urgent water issues in Kazakhstan requires even greater joint efforts, and comprehensive work at the regional level jointly with the world community.


Thank you for your attention.


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