Desires to maximise irrigated agriculture during the Soviet era has resulted in degradation of water resources. After independence, most countries in the region adopted national policies dealing with water supply and sanitation. Furthermore, since 2002, Global Water Partnership in Caucasus and Central Asia (GWP CACENA) promotes and supports introduction of IWRM. The main lesson learnt is that an IWRM approach should include any essential infrastructure needed for development.
The benefits and costs of water infrastructure are often far reaching, have social and environmental implications and are unlimited to any single sector. This makes the IWRM principles of economic efficiency, environmental sustainability and social equity relevant for infrastructural development.