The Central Asian countries keep in focus the issues of the legal regulation of water resources use. Such great attention stems from the role of water resources in development of the Central Asian states. The ineffective management of water resources results in depletion of the flow of rivers in Central Asia which affects the socioeconomic development of all countries in this region and aggravates the environmental issues. Moreover, the deficit of water resources in Central Asia escalates the interstate contradictions among the regional countries, thus holding up their economic development. The Central Asian endeavors on the national and interstate levels to develop the mechanism of the legal regulation of water resources management, thus attaining their rational use. But the solution of this problem is impeded by diverging interests of the regional countries that are guided solely by their national interests neglecting the requirements of their neighbors in the region. © Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020.