DUSHANBE, October 29, 2010, Asia-Plus  -- The environmental situation of the Zeravshan River will be discussed at an international conference titled “The Transborder Environmental Problems of Central Asia: Application of International Legal Mechanism for Solving Them” that will take place in Tashkent, Uzbekistan from November 16-17, Uzbek media report.   

The conference is organized by the Ecological Movement of Uzbekistan (EMU), which has 15 seats in the Uzbek parliament.  The EMU representatives consider that it is necessary to assess quality of river waters and, first of all, waters of the transborder rivers.

“he problem of preservation and sustainable use of the transborder water resources concerns many people living in the region,” said the EMU expert Rashid Qulmatov, “The Zeravshan River is the main source of water supply for more than 7 million people.  Unfortunately, there are no efficient legal norms between the two neighboring countries.  Therefore, it is necessary to begin to work out interstate legal documents to determine the status of the Zeravshan River and conditions of joint rational use of water resources in the Zeravshan River basin.”

Uzbek media note that Tajikistan plans to implement a complex program on use of the Zeravshan water resources for irrigation and energy purposes.  “In the meantime, analysis of the current water economy situation in the Zeravshan River basin has shown that under the present level of development of technology and organization of the water use management, water resources of Zeravshan have been fully exhausted and any hasty external influence on the situation may have serious negative consequences for the water economy and environmental situation in Uzbekistan,” the Uzbek media reports say.

Zeravshan River is a river in Central Asia.  Its name, "sprayer of gold" in Tajik , refers to the presence of gold-bearing sands in the upper reaches of the river.

It rises from the Zeravshan glacier in Tajikistan, flowing due west for some 300 kilometers, passing Panjakent before entering Uzbekistan, where it turns west-to-north-west, flowing past the city of Samarqand, until it bends left again to the west north of Navoi and further to the south-west, passing Bukhara before it is lost in the desert beyond the city of Qaraqul.  Tajikistan used only some 5 percent of the river waters, while more than 95 percent of the Zeravshan water resources are sued by Uzbekistan.  In Uzbekistan, the river provides water to the irrigated lands in Samarqand, Jizakh, Qashqadarya and Navoi regions.