The Armenian Government is taking measures to reduce and prevent the harmful impact of the SHPPs on nature. At its meeting held on 1 March, the executive approved the draft protocol resolution 'On Establishing Criteria for Assessing Impact of SHPP Construction and Operation on Environment'. With the adoption of this resolution, it's expected to promote the preservation of water ecosystem and to ensure balance in case of SHPP construction and operation.
'Though hydropower is considered to be environmentally friendly and aims to reduce the emission of CO2 greenhouse cases into the environment, the operation of SHPPs has a negative influence on the ecosystems (particularly water ecosystems) because of the reduction in river flows due to climate change.
Criteria for the construction and operation of SHPPs should be established to solve the emerged environmental problems, to ensure the preservation of water ecosystem during water use and to ensure balance, which will prevent or reduce the harmful impacts of SHPPs on the environment,' the rationale of the draft resolution says.
These criteria are as follows:
1) Availability of red-listed and/or area-specific endemic fish species and water plants,
2) Availability of spawning spots of area-specific endemic fish species,
3) Availability of overload by 40% and more by derivation pipelines,
4) Preservation of factual water course in the river section not exceeding the magnitude of the environmental flow set in the water usage permit,
5) Availability of sanitary zones of water ecosystems, the criteria of which are laid down in Clause 3 of the appendix to the governmental resolution N 64-Ն dated on 20 January 2005.
6) Availability of monuments of nature in a diameter of 150 meters,
7) Availability of landslide areas,
8) Availability of roads running to the construction area of SHPPs or the need to construct roads,
9) The distance of constructed SHPP from the nearest residential area,
10) Impact of noise on the environment and human health.
The material was developed in the frames of “Supporting new reforms in SHPP sector through CSO-government dialogue” supported by UNDP/GEF Small Grants Programme".
18:16 March 02, 2018