Introduction After the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991, managing the water of the rivers crossing the boundaries of the various countries in Central Asia was in danger. The importance of basin management had already been identified during the Soviet era. After gaining independence, the five Central Asian republics of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan created the Interstate Commission for Water Coordination (ICWC) in 1992. The duty of the ICWC is to regulate and control the use of transboundary water resources of the Amu Darya and the Syr Darya rivers. Under the umbrella of the ICWC there are two executive basin organizations (Basseinovoye Vodnoye Obyedineniye: BVOs), the Amu Darya BVO and the Syr Darya BVO, as well as a research and project planning organization, and the Scientific Information Centre (SIC). Both the BVOs and the SIC are located in Uzbekistan. The role of the SIC and its director are of particular importance. Hutchens (1998: 5) explains that the SIC ‘provides the scientific foundations for dealing with water management problems, water resources management strategy, and long-term planning of transboundary water resources use in the basin’. The SIC has a monopoly on data about water resources and, through its webpage and international publications, influences, if not determines, the knowledge base for water resources in Central Asia. Currently, the SIC promotes three general principles for basin management:

• All countries have the right to equitable and reasonable water use with regard to previous use.