Lake Sevan Problems: Hydroenergy and Violation of "Green" Rights

Lake Sevan Problems: Hydroenergy and Violation of

EcoLur

The main challenges for Lake Sevan are additional water intakes and hydropower, which violate the "green" rights of the residents in Lake Sevan communities, as Gavar-based "Blejan" NGO President Liana Asoyan said at the conference entitled “Energy Projects and Violations of Human Rights in South Caucasus” held in Tbilisi.

Liana Asoyan mentioned that with the resolutions of the Armenian Government in recent 10 years additional water intakes were carried out from the lake 4 times more than the amount of 170 million cum is laid down in RA Law on Lake Sevan. In 2008 the water intake made up 360 million cum, in 2012 it was 320 million cum, in 2014 it was 240 million cum and in 2017 it was 270 million cum. The lake experienced a negative balance in 2012, 2014 and 2017 because of the additional intakes, which had its adversary impact on the ecosystem of Lake Sevan.

Liana Asoyan mentioned that S.O.S Sevan initiative -  a union of 72 organizations for the protection of Lake Sevan, has held protest demonstrations, applied to all departments in charge and the President of the Republic of Armenia. Nevertheless, the public opinion hasn't been taken into consideration and people's right to participation in the decision-making process has been violated.

Sevan water is made to serve the interests of the hydropower and here we speak about Sevan-Hrazdan hydro cascade with 560 MW capacity.

According to Liana Asoyan, more funds have been spent to recover the lake level, when 48.3-kilometer-long Arpa-Sevan and 21.6-kilometer long Vorotan-Arpa tunnels were constructed.

'The decrease in the level of Lake Sevan deteriorates the water quality and waterlogging processes activate. People have natural rights to have access to clean water and to live in a favorable environment. These are prerequisites for all other rights,' Asoyan outlines.

All the SHPPs constructed on the rivers supplying water to the lake also pose a danger for Lake Sevan. 'SHPPs use almost all the water in the river leaving the residents without irrigation water and depriving them of any opportunity to deal with their own activities and violating their right to water access. For example, in case of Argitchi SHPP Verin Getashen residents have applied to the residents of international bodies for the protection of their rights.'

19:32 April 11, 2018


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