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 and 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.


To foster a new generation of Central Asian professionals versed in principles of integrated water resources management (IWRM) and the Water – Energy- Food-Environment (WEFE) Nexus  

  • Organized 17 online lectures focused on WEFE Nexus-related issues for more than 1,000 water, energy and environmental specialists, academia, and youth network members from Central Asian countries. 
  • Sponsored academic training for 10 young researchers in support of their WEFE-Nexus related research. 
  • Developed and introduced two curricula on IWRM principles and the WEFE Nexus approach to resource management for consideration by higher educational institutions in Central Asia. 
  • Launched a Community of Practice e-platform for knowledge exchange and network building among students, academics, and professionals working in WEFE Nexus-related fields.

To support long-term sustainable water management and water cooperation at the basin level for improved economic growth in the region.

  • Developed 24 long-term water and energy modeling scenarios for the Syr Darya River basin for improved evidence-based planning and decision-making.
  • Provided capacity building trainings to Small Basin Councils at Isfara (TJ), Murgab (TM), and Padshaata (UZ) for long-term sustainable water use and governance.
  • Convened more than 15 basin organizations for a regional forum to strengthen cooperation and interaction among different types of basin management organizations.
  • Organized Syr Darya River Day events in Central Asian countries to celebrate the value of water and inspire greater cooperation on shared water resources.

To enhance national and regional governance for transboundary water cooperation and addressing governance needs.

  • Established National Intersectoral Committees and a Regional Coordination Committee for facilitating conversation across ministries and countries to create a unified regional agenda for transboundary water management.
  • Organized a regional study tour of the Syr Darya River basin for more than 25 water specialists and journalists from five Central Asian countries to raise awareness about water, energy and environmental challenges facing the region.
  • Facilitated talks between the Kyrgyz Republic and Uzbekistan (on the Kasansay reservoir), Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan (on the Tuyamuyun reservoir), and the Kyrgyz Republic and Kazakhstan (on the Chumysh reservoir) for improving cooperation and shared use of water facilities. 

IMPLEMENTATION PERIOD:  October 2020 - September 2025
BUDGET: $21.5 million USD
CONTACT:  Gulzada Azhetova, Contracting Officer Representative,


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