Environmental Earth Sciences

, Volume 73, Issue 2, pp 863–872 | Cite as

Problems of rural drinking water supply management in Central Kyrgyzstan: a case study from Kara-Suu village, Naryn Oblast

  • Karl Tilman RostEmail author
  • Gesine Ratfelder
  • Oktiabr Topbaev
Thematic Issue


Since the independence of Kyrgyzstan in 1991 and the subsequent dissolution of the collective/state farm system, the drinking water supply system in rural communities has been deteriorating much faster than in urban areas. This paper demonstrates the actual problems of the drinking water supply system in Kara-Suu, a small village in the Naryn Oblast. Much of the water supply infrastructure is out of operation and many villagers are forced to set up private solutions. Due to the poverty of the villagers, the local administration is unable to maintain the infrastructure and to provide a reliable water supply. This in turn causes their unwillingness to pay the water fee. Nevertheless, an increased responsibility of all stakeholders to manage the local water supply system is crucial. It is necessary to raise the awareness of all stakeholders, to animate them for more private dedication, and to reduce mistrust and corruption.


Drinking water supply system Garden irrigation Financial sustainability Good governance 



The authors wish to thank the Volkswagen Foundation (Volkswagen Stiftung) for their financial support. We are also grateful to Dr. Tolkunbek Asykulov (Kyrgyz National University) for his logistic support. We would also thank Katja Ebermann, Jeannette Müller, Anne Grundig, Fabian Becker, Werner Heid, Mukhtar Kasymov, Zholdashbek Chungulov and the kindly people of Kara-Suu for their critical comments and help during field work.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karl Tilman Rost
    • 1
    Email author
  • Gesine Ratfelder
    • 1
  • Oktiabr Topbaev
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Physical Geography, Institute of Geographic SciencesFreie Universitaet BerlinBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Faculty of Geography, Ecology and Tourism, Department of Economic, Social and Political GeographyKyrgyz National UniversityBishkekKyrgyzstan

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