The Ministry of Environment (Minister Cho Myung-rae) signs a Memorandum of Understanding on Enhancing Water Cooperation with the Ministry of Housing and Communal Services of the Republic of Uzbekistan on June 9th.
※ The signing ceremony took place in a non-face-to-face manner given the COVID-19 circumstance.
The MOU was signed prior to the commencement of the 2-year project on improving old water supply pipes in Tashkent this year on the Ministry of Environment grant, with a purpose of prescribing details of cooperation between the two countries.
Tashkent, a capital city of Uzbekistan, still relies on the water supply infrastructure that was constructed back in the 1960s except for a few, although a massive infrastructure reconstruction project had been carried out after the earthquake of magnitude 7.5 in 1966. However, as the number of accidents caused by damaged water pipes increased rapidly, it is called for to improve and repair the water supply pipes.
In this context, to contribute to addressing the issue, the Korean government has supported the process of drafting mid- and long-term comprehensive plan(master plan) on water supply pipes in Tashkent since 2018. Based on the master plan, an improvement project on old water supply pipes in Mirabad, central Tashkent, worth KRW 3.02 billion, will be carried out.
The project focuses on △establishing District Metered Area (DMA)* and waterworks monitoring system, △repairing and improving old pipes, and △training those responsible for water supply infrastructure.
With the customized application of Korean model of smart water management and technology to the local condition, it is expected to contribute to significantly improving the efficiency of water supply as it reduces water leakage and saves energy.
* (District Metered Area) An operating system that manages water supply pipes by a unit of block to raise effectiveness of water supply management
Water-specialized companies in Korea including K-Water will lead the Tashkent project. Therefore, this project also raises the possibility of the Korean water companies engaging in a number of other water infrastructure construction projects that are planned out by the government of Uzbekistan in cooperation with international organizations such as Asian Development Bank (ADB).
Director General Kim Dong-jin of the Water Resource Policy Bureau of the Ministry of Environment said that "I hope the signing of the MOU today lays the foundation of sharing our advanced water management technology and know-hows with Uzbekistan and other countries that the New Norther Policy targets. Hopefully it offers an opportunity for domestic water companies to enter new markets in the New Northern countries."