Introduction to the UZWATER Project

The Republic of Uzbekistan and other Central Asian countries face large problems of water scarcity, especially in summer season. The large scale of water resource mismanagement and poor restoration have effect on social, economic and environmental situation of the countries.

The environmental education in the universities of Uzbekistan requires that students acquire broad understanding of environmental problems, receive up-to date knowledge and skills in water resource management and that professionals can address changes towards more sustainable development of the country.

To meet the needs of universities in Uzbekistan Prof. Lars Rydén has initiated TEMPUS project consortium, which incorporates 8 universities in Uzbekistan and 6 project partners in EU countries.

The main objective of the project is to introduce a Master level study program in environmental science and sustainable development with focus on water management in eight Uzbekistan universities. The curriculum of Master Programme consists of four units (modules) each one with special focus:

Environmental Science unit will cover the basic situation of the environment in Uzbekistan; it will include the basic tools in Environmental Science, such as biogeochemical flows, environmental impacts and remediation approaches and methods.

Sustainable Development unit will include the basic methods used in Sustainability Science, in particular introduce systems thinking and systems analysis, resource flows and resource management and a series of practical tools for good resource management, such as recycling, energy efficiency, etc.

Water Management unit will focus on the water situation in Uzbekistan and introduce methods for river basin management, water supply and water scarcity issues, wastewater techniques, and international water issues, such as water conflict resolution and water diplomacy.

Master thesis work is the last of the four modules and will be conducted by the students to get a hands-on experience in solving environmental and water problems in the Uzbek society. This unit will also include education to foster skills in written and oral presentation and communication.

The four units will include core courses, to be used by all universities, as well as locally designated courses which correspond to the local needs and problems. This will allow the Master Programme to benefit from local specific profile of the university and to take care of the new study material produced within the project.

The specific objectives of the project are:

  1. to establish study centers at the partner universities in Uzbekistan; two of these more specialized;
  2. to improve the capacity to train master students with expertise to address the severe environmental and water management problems of the country;
  3. to support the introduction and use in Uzbekistan of modern education methods, study materials, and e-learning tools;
  4. to encourage international cooperation at the partner universities;
  5. to strengthen capacities to provide guidance to authorities and the Uzbekistan society at large;
  6. to ensure the visibility and promotion of the Master Programme through web pages, printed material and cooperation with society;
  7. to ensure continuity of the Master Programme and long-term support of the project outcomes at partner universities beyond Tempus funding.