Mineral resources users may be prohibited from performing works near potable water deposits

Kuralay Karaken – member of the Mazhilis Committee for issues of environment and mineral resources utilization proposed to prohibit mineral resources users from performance of works near potable water deposits

According to her words the Republic is included into the list of countries, which depend on water resources. Though urban Kazakhstan citizens live with the feeling of water abundance, in fact in many regions, especially in remote rural areas, in particular in the West-Kazakhstan region, pure potable water is a valuable asset.

By 2050 the country can acutely realize shortage of water – deficit will increase thrice.

“Along with that our country has great prospectives related to three times increase of underground water reserves. We have more than 3 thousands of explored deposits with approved reserves, which however are in strategic reserve yet. However there is an attempt of destroying them”, – she said.

The deputy gave an example of the largest deposit of underground potable water – Kokzhide Sands in Aktobe region.

“According to the law the operation on its territory, which threatens its preservation including drilling of wells, is prohibited. However within limits of sandy block the works related to exploration and production of hydrocarbon commodities are carried out by seven mineral resources users. Individual deposits are at the stage of industrial development. Consequences of similar kind of works have already led to contamination of underground water by petroleum products”, – advised Karaken.

She stated that there are confirmed facts of contaminating Kokzhide underground waters with petroleum products.

“The same situation happened to large Mynbulakskoye deposit field of underground waters, which is far enough to provide potable water for one million citizens city, on Kyzyl-orda region territory, where a hydrocarbon deposit field is developed in close proximity”, – continued the member of Mazhilis.

“The similar situation may occur again also on the territory of Uilskiy district of Aktobe region, where a unique oasis – Barkyn Sands – is situated”, – she warned.

“There is pure potable water thereunder from natural filter necessary not only for whole Uilskiy district, but also to neighboring residential areas. However operations related to search for petroleum are also carried out on this territory. As a result there is a large waste land formed on the place, where recently gigantic trees were growing. In four-five years with such vandal approach also this area may be left without quality potable water”.

She proposed to work on issues of re-assessing the reserves of underground waters of Kokzhide Sands and of Mynbylakskoye deposit field, which will allow to define borders of contractual territories.

Also it is proposed to prohibit activity of mineral resources users related to exploration and production, development of Kokzhide Sands and Mynbylakskoye deposit fields in case of exceeding the standards of chemical substances in soil and water and to perform research to assess real environmental load on indicated territories.

And as a whole we should consider the issue of assigning to Barkyn Sands located on the territory of Uilskiy district of Aktoby region of natural reservation area status.