A Cold Winter in Central Asia After a very cold winter in Central Asia in 2007-2008 followed by a dry spring and summer, the water and energy situation in the region is critical and political relations strained. The situation is so serious that it was addressed to at an extraordinary meeting of Central Asian Heads of State held in Bishkek early in October 2008. The extensive use of hydropower in Kyrgyzstan during the winter resulted in a very low level of water in the major Toktogul Reservoir on the Naryn, a principal tributary of the Syr Darya. As a consequence, the downstream countries Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan have not received as much water from the Syr Darya for irrigation in the spring and summer as they need. The winter also had severe consequences in energy-poor Tajikistan, with significant losses of lives and livestock. Basic services such as heating and water supply were not available for days even in the capital, Dushanbe. This was the coldest winter in several decades, and demonstrated the need to develop reliable energy supplies. Further significant power shortages are expected in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan over the forthcoming winter.