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Deputies want to draw line in glaciers issue

The problem of water conservation in Kyrgyzstan is considered mainly through the lens of the loss of glaciers, which, according to some members of the public, are melting because of the Kumtor enterprise operation in the country.

Ice melts everywhere

Admittedly, the active melting of glaciers occurs not only in Kyrgyzstan, but also at the poles of the globe.

Thus, according to the research of the Russian Research Center with the assistance of the Russian Academy of Sciences, in the Svalbard archipelago, at the present time, the melting of Arctic ice due to global warming reached a record value and affected the oldest and thickest ice sheets, and the total Arctic ice mass decreased to 55 percent of the average number of 1980-1990s.

In addition, the rate of vertical degradation of underwater permafrost in the last 30-year period reaches 18 cm per year (the average value is 14 cm per year), which is about an order of magnitude greater than was previously.

What Kyrgyz scientists say

As for Kyrgyzstan, according to the data of the National Academy of Sciences, there are several factors of natural and man-made properties in the region.

«In Central Asia, water is formed in the basins of two rivers — the Amudarya and the Syrdarya. Kyrgyz waters belong to Syrdarya basin. Syrdarya flowed into the Aral Sea, which now accounts for about 10-12 percent. The sea was salty, and now the salt is spread all over Asia. It is found even in Tibet. This is one of the factors,» the study said.

Glaciers from the low or middle zone melt faster. The temperature on the planet increases every 8-10 years by an average of 0.7-0.8 degrees. Therefore, the Davydov glacier is also melting. This is a natural process.

Research of the National Academy of Sciences of KR

This conclusion clearly differs from the opinion of public activists and politicians who are trying to play on the environmental theme, including the adoption of amendments to the Water Code.

And what the deputies want to do

According to parliamentary deputy Azamat Arapbaev, it is possible that such a reaction of citizens is connected with insufficient awareness of the public about amendments to the bill.

«The minimal impact of the work of Kumtor on glaciers has been repeatedly confirmed by scientists and experts. Therefore, I can say with confidence that the adoption of amendments to the Water Code will not affect it in any way. Moreover, this was repeatedly confirmed by various expert opinions,» Azamat Arapbaev said.

The bill clearly spells out all the norms and boundaries of activities near the glaciers. If the citizens had studied it, they would have understood everything. Therefore, what is now happening around the Water Code is a storm in a tea-cup.

Azamat Arapbaev

«However, having made these changes, we gave an opportunity for further development of the deposit, therefore, we stopped an ecological catastrophe from stopping the mine and predetermined the possibility of a systematic flow of considerable funds into our budget,» the deputy believes.

The parliament member added that in order not to aggravate the further misunderstanding of the public, they will initiate a round table on November 10 with the involvement of an expert community, the public and deputies who will put an end to this pressing issue.