Uzbekistan to privatise drinking and sewage water supply

By Muzaffar Ismailov in Tashkent November 1, 2023

The Uzbek government is planning to gradually privatise drinking and sewage water supply, the press service of the justice ministry has reported.

According to a corresponding presidential decree, several joint-stock companies will be carved out of Uzsuvtaminot and its subsidiaries by April 1, 2024.

From January 1, 2024, prices for cold water and sewerage will be set based on the cost of services.

From July 1, 2024, drinking and sewage water supply will be transferred to the private sector on the basis of public-private partnerships.

The experiment is planned in the cities of Kagan, Shirin, Bekabad, and Yangiyer.

President Shavkat Mirziyoyev on October 20 noted that large subsidies had been allocated for the introduction of water-saving technologies. About 70% of irrigated lands have outdated irrigation systems, and of the 39bn cubic metres of water used by agriculture in 2022, 36% was absorbed by the soil in canals and ditches.

Because an additional 5 to 6bn cm of water ends up in collectors, roughly half the water supply is wasted.

More than 5,000 pumps are used to water 2.5mn hectares of land in Uzbekistan. Some 80% of them were installed 35-40 years ago and have exceeded their working lifetimes, the president noted.

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