Central Asia Water & Energy Program


In Central Asia, water and energy systems are inextricably intertwined. Nature determines the hydrologic interlinkages: multiple transboundary rivers, including the Amu Darya and Syr Darya of the Aral Sea basin, connect the territories of the Central Asian Republics and Afghanistan.

Energy interdependence is man-made: the newly independent states inherited the intricate energy-for-water trading scheme which supplied electricity generated from the downstream fossil energy riches to the upstream countries during the cold winter season, so that the latter would store water for summer-irrigation needs in their reservoirs.

With the collapse of the Soviet Union the unitary system became transboundary overnight. The re-established national borders continue to pose significant challenges to optimize asset operation and for national and regional water and energy resources management. Central Asia Water and Energy Program was established to help the countries with these nexus challenges.

Forming Partnerships

The Central Asia Water and Energy Program (CAWEP) is a partnership between the World Bank, the European Union, Switzerland (through SECO) and the United Kingdom (through DFID) to strengthen the enabling environment to promote energy and water security at regional level and in the beneficiary countries. Structured along three pillars: (1) energy security; (2) energy-water linkages; and (3) water security, the program pursues three components since its inception in 2009: (a) data and diagnostic analyses; (b) institutions, capacity and dialogue; and (c) supporting investments.

CAWEP promotes water and energy security working at the national scale to strengthen national institutional capacities and sector performance, while at the same time keeping regional cooperation on the dialogue agenda to create an enabling environment for achieving national and regional energy and water security.

CAWEP works with and supports governments, national and regional organizations, civil society organizations, and development partners, including other international financial institutions. The Program is anchored in partnerships with governments to ensure that program activities address national priorities. CAWEP cooperates with other development and financing partners to enhance the impact in meeting its objectives and to leverage investments by others.


Annual Progress Reports

Technical Papers

Phase 3

Phase 2

Program Briefs



The CAWEP newsletter is a quarterly bulletin that highlights the news and activities implemented under the program.

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