ON-LINE – Kazakh national experts on water supply, sanitation and health, including representatives of public municipal water supply services, academia, design institutes, universities, civil society, and business attended the webinar on wastewater treatment to learn from the European Union (EU) experience.

The webinar was organised by the EU-funded project “European Union – Central Asia: Water, Environment and Climate Change Cooperation” (WECOOP) as part of the EU’s tailor-made support to Central Asia (CA) on environmental governance and capacity building. It aimed to assist Kazakhstan in improving its wastewater treatment system. 

The treatment of urban wastewater is fundamental to ensuring public health and environmental protection. The adoption of the EU Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive (Directive) in 1991 promoted the improvement of urban wastewater treatment in the Member States. The Directive requires Member States to ensure that their waste waters are properly collected and treated to prevent contamination of natural water bodies with harmful chemicals, bacteria and viruses that present a risk to human health. An evaluation of the Directive was published in 2019, which concluded that, overall, the document is fit for purpose.

The recently published 10th report on the implementation of the Directive (2020) shows that compliance rates with the EU wastewater collection and treatment rules are high and have increased compared to the previous reporting period. According to this report, 95% of wastewater in the EU is collected and 88% is biologically treated.

Under the new Green Deal, the EU is committed to lead by example and provides the financial and technical assistance to international partners, including to countries of Central Asia (CA). During the two-day webinar, the participants discussed the EU legislation, standards and practices on drinking water, municipal wastewater treatment, urban development plans, best available technologies for wastewater treatment, as well as examples of preparation and implementation of investment programs.

Dr Anatoly Krutov, WECOOP Key Expert: “At a global level, appropriate wastewater treatment is still lacking in many countries. UN Sustainable Development Goal 6 sets out improvement of water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and minimizing release of hazardous chemicals and materials, halving the proportion of untreated wastewater and substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse globally by 2030. In the Central Asian countries, over 60% of urban sewerage systems obsolete and few of them were upgraded since 90s.There are merely about 64% of urban and only 17% of rural areas covered with sewage network. Based on the EU experience, the WECOOP project aims to assist the CA countries by providing analysis and review of the existing national legislation, strategic consulting on improvement of water quality management, and capacity building. We are eager to contribute to water treatment management improvement in Kazakhstan and other CA countries”.

Background: The EU-funded project “European Union – Central Asia Water, Environment and Climate Change Cooperation” (WECOOP) (third phase from October 2019 to October 2022) aims to enhance environment, climate change and water policies at national levels in Central Asia through approximation to EU standards and to promote investments in relevant sectors with the aim of contributing to measurable reductions in man-made pollution, including CO2 emission. The project activities include support to the EU–CA Platform for Environment and Water Cooperation and its Working Group on Environment and Climate Change, as well as implementation of the EU Green Deal’s international dimension in Central Asia to advance climate action.

For additional information, please contact:

Mrs Yelena Serebrennikova
WECOOP Senior Communication Expert
email: media@wecoop.eu
mobile/WhatsApp +77019814020

Ms Nurgul Smagulova
WECOOP Event and Communication Officer
email: nurgul.smagulova@wecoop.eu
mobile/WhatsApp +77012066760

Ms Yerkezhan Amriyeva
Political, Press and Information Section
EU Delegation to Kazakhstan
email: yerkezhan.amriyeva@eeas.europa.eu

EVENT MATERIALS: https://wecoop.eu/events/webinar-wastewater-treatment/