Water management by water users
Two-day trainings on “Organizational development and the partnership of water users” were conducted during March in all three project regions - Sakarchaga, Karakum and Nohur within the framework of project on “Addressing climate change risks to farming systems in Turkmenistan at national and community levels” (AF project) jointly implemented by Adaptation Fund/UNDP/Ministry of Nature Protection of Turkmenistan.
The main objective of the training was to raise the awareness and increase common understanding of principles of partnerships among water users that would enable effective addressing common problems and finding rational solutions. Raising the awareness on the importance of active participation of local communities in planning and joint decision-making for the implementation of adaptation measures was another target of the trainings.
The trainings were attended by heads and representatives of local self-government bodies, managers and mirabs (local water managers) of farmer associations, local land users, heads of farms, school teachers, as well as representatives of local district water management bodies. In the course of two days of the training, each group of participants gained theoretical knowledge about basic elements and features of effective water partnerships. The participants also made assessment of the conformity of their own competences, skills and knowledge required for the effective management of water resources at the community level.
During the trainings participants particularly discussed the issues of rational use of water resources, since the major scope of project activities aims at the development of innovative ideas for adaptation to climate change and the design of investment plans, which have a direct relation to the issues of rational use of water resources.
Participants have also been trained on the current developments in water legislation of Turkmenistan and received information on current organizational modalities of water management at the national and local levels. The discussion of these topics would enable training participants to assess their current state of affairs, particularly in the area of water resource management in their respective communities that represent regions of irrigated agriculture, desert and mountains.
An important result of the trainings was the formation of initiative groups among the training participants themselves. Within the annual work plan fo the AF roject, the groups are expected to develop local short-term and long-term water development plans, prepare investment project proposals for adaptation to climate change and join in their available resources to implement them. During discussions, the initiative groups successfully set goals, objectives, and developed a management structure for the initiative groups.
Mr. Atamyrat Charyev, a team leader of the local land users in the project region of Sakarchaga, has shared his impressions about the training by noting that during the event he had an opportunity to get acquainted with the basic principles of organizational management and development of water user groups, the knowledge of which, he stated, would enable him to further advance his leadership skills among his peer land and water users in his community.
In conclusion, the workshop participants have noted that in the context of climate change and expected water availability in rivers, the main goal of the formed water user initiative groups will be to actively engage all members of the group to ensure fair, reliable, flexible and transparent water distribution. To achieve this objective, the participants will put their efforts to develop innovative water-saving technics and methods, as well as advance social mobilization of communities to address common problems through applying democratic principles of water management at the local level.
Project Manager, AF Project
Mr. Ahmet Shadurdiev