In more than 260 transboundary watercourses around the world, the closely linked issues of energy, water and agriculture cause difficulties. Tensions between energy-starved Tajikistan and cotton-producing Uzbekistan over the planned Rogun hydro-electric dam illustrate the continuing ‘water versus energy’ debate. At the same time, the scarcity of water resources in Central Asia is often caused by mismanagement.
The use of transboundary waters can be managed through international multilateral agreements, bilateral agreements or by international customary law.
The Rogun dam’s construction will have an impact on the economic development of the countries involved and the region’s environment, as well as on diplomatic and trade relations between Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
The European Union (EU) stresses the importance of regional cooperation on the issues of water, environment and energy in Central Asia. In this regard, the EU is supporting a project to enhance regional cooperation on Environment and Water in Central Asia. The EU initiative complements the work of the World Bank in the region.