Last year, Uzbek agriculture consumed 39 billion cubic meters of water. Of this, 36%, or more than 14 billion, was lost in canals and ditches with earthen beds, said Shavkat Mirziyoyev at today’s government meeting.
He emphasized that the relevance of problems related to water resources is growing every day. While, over the past two years, large subsidies have been provided for the water sector, including for the purpose of introducing water-saving technologies.
Due to the fact that 70% of the land is still irrigated using outdated methods, 5-6 billion cubic meters of water are wasted and dumped into sewers, the president noted.
Today, more than 5,000 pumps are used to irrigate 2.5 million hectares of land and 7 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity are consumed per year. However, 80% of the pumps have been operating for 35-40 years and have exhausted their service life, said Shavkat Mirziyoyev.
He expressed deep concern about this state of affairs in the water sector and expressed strong dissatisfaction with the responsible persons in the industry, and gave instructions on concreting canals to reduce water losses, replacing pumps with energy-saving ones, and installing automated water meters at water facilities.
In Uzbekistan, more than 90% of fresh water is used in agriculture. This is much higher than the world average.
First Deputy Head of the Ministry of Water Resources Azimjon Nazarov noted that by 2030 the country will be short of 7 billion cubic meters of water.