Efficiency and sustainability of water services in Kazakhstan in focus

In-depth discussion of sustainability of water service delivery was organized by the World Bank and the Ministry of Industry and Infrastructural Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan during a two-day training. The training focused on strengthening interlinked technical and financial performance of service providers as well as improving the water sector governance, regulatory and institutional oversight functions.

Efficient performance of water service providers is crucial for the comfort and well-being of customers, as it ensures continuous 24/7 water supply. But often poorly functioning service providers do not have adequate financial resources and operational and planning capacity to properly maintain the system, resulting in frequent disruptions in water supply and high losses in water supply: these factors negatively impact the country’s water security – both qualitatively and quantitatively.

Training attendees – senior officials in water service sector, including policy makers, regulators, water utilities associations and utility managers – discussed how to improve the water infrastructure management in Kazakhstan. The participants looked at ways to strengthen asset management to enhance the quality of service delivery and extend the lifespan of critical infrastructure. Attendees also explored methods for reducing operational inefficiencies and costs, with the goal of improving sustainability and service delivery. Finally, the workshop emphasized the importance of integrating strong management with a clear customer-oriented vision to gradually improve performance using existing resources.

“This workshop is an important step for Kazakhstan to ensure that all people across the country enjoy uninterrupted access to safe water. For this goal to be achieved we need to be relentlessly focused on improving the efficiency of service delivery as well as on the financial sustainability of the system,” said Khairy Al-Jamal, World Bank Senior Water Supply and Sanitation Specialist.

Improvement of water infrastructure requires a holistic approach that would address the sector governance including proper policy formulation and application, service regulation and strengthening the capacity of service providers. This will help attract necessary investments and improve and expand services thereby satisfying present and future needs in an optimal manner.

The training was supported by Central Asia Water and Energy Program (CAWEP) – a partnership between the World Bank, the European Union, Switzerland and the United Kingdom to strengthen the enabling environment to promote water and energy security at the regional level and in the beneficiary countries.

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