Ugam river

The Ugam river is a small but important transboundary tributary to Chirchik river, northeast of Tashkent. The length of Ugam river is about 70 km in total with an estimated basin area of 870 km2. The river rises in the Ugam ridge, in the western Tien Shan mountains and crosses the Saigam-Ugam National Park in south Kazakhstan before reaching the border and entering into Uzbekh Chirchik valley in Tashkent region. With an annual runoff of around 1.200 million m3 the Ugam river contributes around 20% to the total runoff of the Chirchik river downstream Charvakskoe reservoir and is a very valuable fresh water resource for the Tashkent region. However, increasing population density and tourism together with intensified agriculture have started to harm the ecological balance of the basin. A decrease in quality and quantity of the available water resources of the Ugam river basin can be observed.

The project activities will be implemented on both sides of the border in the Tolebi area of south Kazakhstan and in theTashkent region of Uzbekistan. Recently CAREC has started a pilot project that will develop a Payment for Ecosystem Services scheme for the Sairam-Ugam National Park. A letter of approval (Att.2) from the State Committee for Nature Protection of the Republic of Uzbekistan has been received for the pilot project. The activities of the pilot project can be considered complementary to the proposed project activities introducing IWRM principles at Ugam river basin.