Water efficiency, an important aspect of ecotourism in Kyrgyzstan

For the ethnocultural project “Supara”, reduced environmental impact is as important as monetary savings
Investor LLC “Supara Ethnographic Complex”

Location Chunkurchak, Kyrgyzstan   Investment Installation of a water treatment plant  

Financial results: Payback period of 10 years
  Investment amount US$ 100,000

Grant Amount US$ 15,000

Energy Saving
3.26 MWh/year  

CO2 reduction 0.17 tons/year   Water Saving 20,016 m3/year  
Water is the natural wealth of Kyrgyzstan, which has to be preserved. The Kyrgyzstan Sustainable Energy Financing Facility (KyrSEFF) provides funding for water-saving measures, thus enabling small and medium-sized businesses in Kyrgyzstan to protect the country’s water resources.  

The “Supara” ethnographic complex is a hotel complex located 40 kilometers outside of Bishkek and surrounded by the beautiful mountains of Chunkurchak. This project reflects the cultural traditions of the Kyrgyz people and the life of their ancestors. Only natural materials such as stone, clay, straw, and leather were used for the construction of the hotel suites. In this sense, the project fits into the “ecotourism” movement; therefore, the responsible use of energy resources and water is also an important component of the “Supara” brand.

In September 2019, the hotel, which serves up to 450-500 guests all year round, replaced its wastewater treatment plant thanks to a KyrSEFF loan.

“We were not satisfied with the quality of the previous wastewater treatment plant. It did not provide for optimal water quality at the outlet”, said Belek Mambetov, the Financial Director of “Supara”. “We analyzed the water quality ourselves and found out that it did not meet the state standard. So we decided to replace the plant with a new one, made in Hungary, corresponding to high European quality standards”, he added.   The KyrSEFF team reviewed the project and technology selected by the client, assessing potential energy savings, as well as financial and technical parameters and risks. The investment of US$ 100,000 allows “Supara” to save US$ 12,524 in water savings annually, which corresponds to a payback period of 10 years.  

The new equipment, thanks to a two-stage anaerobic wastewater treatment technology, achieves 95% water purity at the outlet, making it suitable for irrigation. Thus, “Supara” will reduce the consumption of clean water for irrigation by 30%, which amounts to more than 20,000 cubic meters per year.  

“Our guests, both local and foreign, do pay attention to the environmental aspect of their stay at “Supara” because the complex is located in such a beautiful place. It is important for all of us to keep the surrounding nature clean”, said Mambetov.   The successful implementation of the project to improve resource efficiency has allowed “Supara” to receive an additional grant from the European Union, amounting to 15% of the loan.

The Kyrgyzstan Sustainable Energy Financing Facility (KyrSEFF) was developed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and established in 2013, with a total portfolio of US$ 55 million. To reward the successful implementation of energy-saving measures through KyrSEFF, beneficiaries receive grants ranging from 10 to 35% from the total investment, and free technical support financed by the European Union (EC-IFCA).  

The KyrSEFF+ Program Supports the Installation of a Wastewater Treatment Facility at a Resort in Belogorka Gorge

Minimizing negative impacts on the quality of water, soil and air is one of the core tasks of a sustainable business. “Ak-Tilek”, a small resort located in the Sokuluk district, used the opportunities provided by the KyrSEFF program to install a wastewater treatment facility. 

The Ak-Tilek resort is located in the picturesque Belogorka gorge on the shores of the Shabai River in the Sokuluk district. It is a popular destination not only among those admiring the beauty of nature but those interested in improving their health by drinking kumys. The clean air and mountains are also perfect conditions for sportsmen to practice.

Dozens of villages are located downstream from the resort. Their citizens use the river water for daily needs, and that is why the installation of a treatment facility was not only an issue of environmental protection but also one of people’s access to drinking water. 

At the end of 2017, the resort used a KyrSEFF loan to invest USD 19,000 in a modern wastewater treatment facility. Scaled for up to 75 people, the plant provides sewage treatment meeting the established sanitary norms and regulations, which allow the water to be dispersed into the local terrain or to be used for irrigation of gardens and fields. 

“I love my country and cherish its beauty. Three years ago, when we started our business in this territory, we considered the installation of a modern wastewater treatment facility. Indeed, polluting the crystal clear river water, used both by us and people living downriver, is not only irresponsible but can also be considered as an “environmental sin,” – says Omor Dzhumanazarov, the resort owner.

The process of wastewater treatment includes several consecutive stages of mechanical and biological treatment. Sewage is first pumped into a tank for mechanical treatment where insoluble and large particles are ground. 

After that, the wastewater undergoes a biological treatment stage, which is based on microorganisms that feed on certain pollutants. Purified water is then diverted to the ground through a drainage system with an area of 120 sq. m. If necessary, it can be pumped into a plastic tank and be used later for watering.

The Asia Water Build Company installed the system in only one month.

“Of course we could have installed a lower-cost treatment facility, but treatment efficiency would have been much worse. We did not set a goal for the system to pay off its value, and that is why we turned to a company that ensures almost 100% assurances. The system treats 94% of the polluted water, the remaining 6% is purified naturally by the drainage system,” – shares Omor Dzhumanazarov.

The resort is actively preparing for the upcoming tourist season. Apart from the installation of the wastewater treatment facility also installed energy-efficient LED lighting in the buildings, adding an energy-saving component to their project.

For the successful implementation of the project, Ak-Tilek resort received a US $2,856 cash-back grant, funded by the European Union. As a result of the investment, Ak-Tilek resort will benefit from annual water savings of 5,832 m3, energy savings of 29.4 MWt-h, and 1.3 tons CO2 emission reductions.