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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
05ALMATY4347
2005-12-09 02:06:00
UNCLASSIFIED
US Office Almaty
Cable title:  

KAZAKHSTAN ENVIRONMENT UPDATE

Tags:   ECON  SENV  ENRG  EPET  KZ  ECONOMIC 
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						UNCLAS  ALMATY 004347 

SIPDIS


TASHKENT FOR EPUTNAM

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON SENV ENRG EPET KZ ECONOMIC
SUBJECT: KAZAKHSTAN ENVIRONMENT UPDATE
November 11, 2005



1. Summary: This information is drawn primarily from the
Kazakhstani press, and has not been verified. The opinions
expressed in this report, therefore, should not be
interpreted by readers as conveying positions and/or policy
of the U.S. Government.

-- Kazakhstan and China to Increase Cooperation on
Transboundary Rivers
-- Experts Discuss Joint Management of Water Resources
-- Kazakhstan's Water Supply in Danger
-- Aral Sea Conservation
-- Interstate Coordination Water Commission (ICWC) Meet in
Almaty
-- Karaozek River Hydro Structure to Relieve Flooding in
Kzylorda Oblast
-- UNGA Adopts Resolution on Rehabilitation and Development
of Semipalatinsk
--President Nazarbayev Promises Payment to Semipalatinsk
Sufferers
-- Hospital Department for Children from Environmentally
Unfavorable Regions Opened
-- Concern over Atyrau Oblast Reservoirs
-- Pipeline Leak in Ust-Kamenogorsk

Kazakhstan-China Cooperation on Transboundary Rivers


--------------------------



--------------------------





2. (U) On October 23, the Kazakhstani-Chinese Joint
Commission on the Use and Protection of Transboundary Rivers
met for the third time in Shanghai and approved a reporting
procedure in the event of emergency floods and ice
phenomena. The Commission also discussed drafts of three
intergovernmental agreements proposed by the Kazakhstani
side: mutual exchange of hydrological and hydrochemical
information on transboundary river basins, joint scientific-
research activity, and water quality and water pollution
control. (Interfax-Kazakhstan, October 31, 2005)

Experts Discuss Joint Management of Water Resources


--------------------------



--------------------------





3. (U) Central Asian specialists met in Almaty on October 31
to develop a unified regional position on joint management
of water resources to present at the 4th World Water Forum
in March 2006 in Mexico. (Interfax-Kazakhstan, October 31,
2005)

Kazakhstan's Water Supply in Danger


--------------------------





4. (U) According to water experts, in the near future
Kazakhstan will have serious problems with water supply.
Over 40% of Kazakhstan's water supply originates outside of
its borders and water resources are not evenly distributed
throughout the country. Atyrau, Kyzylorda, and Mangystau
Oblasts lack fresh water sources. Working with neighboring
countries on the joint use and protection of transboundary
rivers will be an important issue for the government.
(Kazinform, October 21, 2005)

Aral Sea Conservation



--------------------------





5. (U) Kazakhstan is preparing for the second phase of the
"Regulation of the Syr Darya River Bed and Conservation of
the Aral Sea Project." The second phase of the project will
focus on construction and rehabilitation of protective dams
and drainage systems to prevent flooding and erosion. Other
measures are also being planned. The cost of the project,
including the second phase, is estimated at $120 million.
(AIF, No 44, November 2005)

Interstate Coordination Water Commission (ICWC) Meets


--------------------------



--------------------------





6. (U) On November 2, the 42nd regular meeting of ICWC was
held in Almaty. Meeting participants reviewed the water
intake limits and operational mode of reservoir cascades
from the Amu Darya and Syr Darya river basins for the
vegetation period of 2005, and approved water intake limits
for the 2005-2006 non-vegetation period. The meeting
participants pointed out that during the vegetation period
of 2005 there were violations of water intake limits at some
gullies, instances of erratic water supply, and cases of
water fluctuations in some hydro electric station pools. To
address these shortcomings, the Commission decided to
establish a working commission to analyze water supply
violations and their causes and make proposals on the
prevent of such occurrences in the future. (Received from
USAID, November 10, 2005)


Efforts to Relieve Flooding in Kzylorda Oblast


--------------------------

-



7. (U) Deputy Prime Minister Akhmetzhan Esimov visited the
construction site of the Karaozek River hydro structure in
Kzylorda Oblast. Work on the hydro structure began last
spring at an estimated cost of 400 million Tenge. When
completed, the hydro structure will direct flood waters to
natural reservoirs in the Syr Darya river basin and
alleviate flooding of nearby populated areas, Esimov said.
(Kazakhstanskaya Pravda, November 8, 2005)

UNGA Resolution on Semipalatinsk


--------------------------





8. (U) On November 1, the United Nations General Assembly
unanimously adopted a Kazakhstani resolution on ecological
rehabilitation and development of the Semipalatinsk region.
The resolution stressed the need to provide advanced
expertise to reduce and suppress radiological,
socioeconomic, health, and environmental problems. The
United States and 78 other countries co-sponsored the
resolution. (Interfax-Kazakhstan, November 4, 2005;
Kazakhstanskaya Pravda, November 5, 2005)

Nazarbayev Promises Payment to Semipalatinsk Sufferers


--------------------------



--------------------------




9. (U) President Nursultan Nazarbayev said in his speech
at the 21st Extraordinary Congress of Kazakhstan's
Federation of Trade Unions in Astana that the payment of
compensation to those who have suffered from the
Semipalatinsk nuclear test range will start in 2007.
Nearly 500 nuclear tests were carried out from 1949 to
1989 at the Semipalatinsk nuclear test range. In line
with a decree by the President, the test range was closed
in 1991. (BBC Monitoring Central Asia, October 31, 2005)

Hospital Department for Children from Environmentally
Unfavorable Regions Opened


--------------------------





10. (U) Kyzylorda Oblast opened Kazakhstan's first hospital
department for children with diseases related to
environmental damage. Kyzylorda is one of Kazakhstan's most
environmentally polluted areas. (Rakhat, October 26, 2005)

Concern over Atyrau Oblast Reservoirs


--------------------------





11. (U) Ecologists in Atyrau Oblast are concerned about the
state of the reservoirs in the region. The ecologists
contend that expansion in the number of steamers combined
with intensive offshore oil and gas extraction is polluting
the Yaik River. The government, however, disagrees with the
ecologists. A governmental commission, which annually
examines the environmental conditions in the region, stated
that there is no environmental threat to the reservoirs.
(Kazakhstan1, October 24-25, 2005)

Pipeline Leak in Ust-Kamenogorsk


--------------------------





12. (U) A leak was discovered in a sewage and industrial
waste pipeline that lies on the bottom of the Irtysh River.
The pipeline was repaired, but the extent of environmental
contamination was unknown. A laboratory report on the level
of contamination was to be submitted in a week. (Eurasia,
KTK, October 27, 2005)

ORDWAY


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