2020 - 2025 | $21.5 Million

The USAID Regional Water and Vulnerable Environment Activity strengthens water cooperation across Central Asia for improved stability, economic prosperity, and healthy ecosystems.

Water, energy, and food security are tightly interlinked in Central Asia, forming a resource nexus that transcends the borders of the five Central Asian states of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. The goal of the USAID Regional Water and Vulnerable Environment Activity is to strengthen regional capacity to manage shared water resources and mitigate environmental risks in the Syr Darya Amu Darya River basins. The Activity takes a multi-level governance approach to tackling complex regional water challenges by strengthening collaboration through stakeholder dialogues; developing a shared vision for integrated and sustainable river basin management using evidence and modeling; and fostering collaborative action across sectors and governance levels.


  1. Well-trained human capital and strengthened educational institutions that address both integrated water resources management (IWRM) and the water-energy-food-environment (WEFE) nexus.
  • The WEFE Nexus Lecture Series designed for the duration of the Activity was launched to enhance understanding of the WEFE nexus approach and increase its implementation in the region. More than 100 water specialists, academia, and youth network members from Central Asia countries participated in the first three lectures.
  • Two roundtables with academia were held in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan to identify the best options for introducing the WEFE nexus approach into the educational system, retraining centers, and research institutes.
  1. Sustainable river basin councils that promote cooperation over transboundary rivers for mutual economic benefit.

  • A decision-support process for the Syr Darya river basin was launched with national consultation workshops held in Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Consultations with national partners provided valuable input for the development of the integrated water-energy model for the Syr Darya river basin.
  • The governments of Uzbekistan and Tajikistan approved the Small Basin Councils (SBC) of the Padshaata and Isfara rivers for targeted work to strengthen their capacity. The capacity building plan will be developed based on the SBC Organizational Capacity Assessment and aims to strengthen and promote the inclusive engagement of stakeholders in water resources management at the local level.
  1. Enhanced national and regional initiatives that address transboundary water cooperation with focus on benefit sharing. 
  • The Activity has been officially launched in all Central Asian countries. More than 300 representatives of government, non-governmental organizations, and private sector entities discussed interests and issues for regional water cooperation and provided many ideas for further action.
  • National Intersectoral Committees (NIC) which unite all sectoral ministries related to the WEFE nexus were established in Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. NIC meetings allow members to identify and coordinate national interests and priorities for regional dialogue.
  • A Regional Coordination Committee (RCC) was established to foster regional dialogue and cooperation. The RCC is comprised of NIC members and will meet bi-annually with a focus on incorporating national interests into the regional agenda for effective and sustainable transboundary water resources management.


The USAID Regional Water and Vulnerable Environment Activity is a five-year $21.5 million USD activity running from October 2020 through September 2025.


USAID Central Asia

Gulzada Azhetova

Contracting Officer Representative

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