16 October 2017
On 13-14 October 2017 a Brainstorming meeting on the establishment of Kazakhstan Knowledge Center on Integrated Water Resources Management was held in Almaty, Kazakhstan. The initiative is led by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Kazakhstan and UNESCO Cluster Office in Almaty.
The meeting brought together a number of development partners operating in Kazakhstan, including UNESCO, which form a so called Water Partners Group of Kazakhstan. The Water Partners Group aims to assist the country in promotion of effective and sustainable water resources management through creation of a Knowledge Center on Integrated Water Resource Management. UNESCO, being the UN leading agency on scientific and educational aspects of water-related issues and promoting sustainable development of the water sector through its International Hydrological Programme and its wide network of UNESCO water Centres and Chairs around the world, supports the establishment of such a centre in Kazakhstan. Bringing to bear its technical expertise, UNESCO will contribute to this partnership with the ADB, the Government of Kazakhstan and other possible partners and stakeholders through the provision of technical and operational expertise.
The new Water Center is planned to be established in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on the basis of the Kazakh National Agrarian University. The Center aims to introduce efficient and sustainable integrated water resource management systems and technologies in Kazakhstan, consolidating available data and information on surface and groundwater and promoting the introduction of the most advanced technologies in the field such as irrigation, urban and rural water supply, flood and wastewater management. The Center will also promote research, capacity building and policy dialogue to inform water sector operations and help implement infrastructure projects in Kazakhstan.
The meeting provided an opportunity for the members of the Water Partners Group, government representatives and national entities to jointly discuss the launch of the future Water Center and its possible activities.
In addition, on the occasion of the event, a competition “Blue Drop Innovation Challenge”, targeting innovative ideas in water management, was organized among the students of universities in Almaty. The students were invited to develop innovative solutions and business ideas for water sector. UNESCO Almaty Office partnered with ADB on this initiative.
The establishment of the above mentioned Center will contribute to the SDG 6 on ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.