German TV documentary on Central Asia’s water problems

In June 2015, the German TV documentary „Dry Season – Central Asia’s Battle over Water“ was presented at the Kazakh-German University in Almaty (Kazakhstan) and at the Central Asian Institute of Applied Geosciences in Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan). Upon invitation of the CAWa project, the German filmmaker Arno Trümper and representatives of the German Federal Foreign Office discussed with Central Asian students, specialists and researchers past, recent and future water problems and conflicts in the region of Central Asia, and debated potential solutions.


The movie

“The battle for water in Central Asia has already begun as a battle of words. In particular, a personal and bitter rivalry exists between the Presidents of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, Emomali Rahmon and Islom Karimov – and their main conflict is over water distribution. The former regards water as a source of energy production, while the latter views it as a resource for irrigation – and there is not enough for both. Minefields and shooting incidents along their shared border are already a reality. Soon, the tanks could be moving in. And that would trigger a major new conflict in the direct vicinity of Russia and Afghanistan.”

The 52-minutes documentary „Dry Season – Central Asia’s Battle over Water“ is based on extensive film work all over Central Asia during the years 2011-2014. Written and directed by Arno Trümper, recorded by Armin Fausten and produced by Kick-Film it was first broadcast on the French-German TV channel ARTE in April 2015. In June 2015, the English version has become available.

Discussion with students at the CAWa Summer School in Almaty

On 16 June 2015, the documentary was shown at the Kazakh-German University in Almaty to 30 students and trainers of the CAWa Summer School “Methods and Tools for the Assessment and Monitoring of Central Asian Water and Land Resources - From field measurements to spatial analysis”. After the movie show, an enthusiastic discussion developed about the German perspective on Central Asia, the reasons for current water-related conflicts, and potential solutions.

Discussion with researchers and water specialists at CAIAG in Bishkek

On 18 June 2015, the documentary was presented to an audience more experienced in the management and research of water resources. 50 scientists from research institutes and universities, specialists from state institutions and representatives from international organizations participated in the movie show and discussion at the Central Asian Institute for Applied Geosciences in Bishkek.