In the frames of S.O.S Sevan initiative, the representatives of 'EcoLur' Informational NGO and 'Territorial Development and Research Center' NGO visited Sevan, Ltchashen, and Tsovagyugh communities in Gegharkounik Region to familiarize them with the new legislative initiative on additional water intake from Lake Sevan and to hear their positions. S.O.S. Sevan awareness-raising flyers were attached in public places, as well as distributed among people.
Water Committee of RA Ministry for Energy Infrastructures and Natural Resources intends to carry out additional water intake of 40 million cum water, besides the statutory water intake of 170 million cum from Lake Sevan for the purpose of irrigating Ararat Valley and producing additional electricity through Sevan-Hrazdan hydro cascade.
Residents of Lake Sevan littoral area speaking:
Meeting in Ltchashen community:
Ltchashen Community Head Koryun Margaryan:
- It has been said that the lake level must be increased by 6 meters in order to preserve the ecosystem: what is disturbing them in order not to decrease? The land areas of a couple of tycoons? If we speak about common things, if we speak about our future and our children, we shouldn't worry about a stone remaining under the water.
...Sure, we can see changes in the lake condition, especially this year when the whole stink has been filled into our community. It's a wetland. In the past, we rebelled when the road running past Ltchashen was being built, we told them that the road should have tunnels underneath for water to move and not to become a wetland, but who pays attention to the community. We have always had the wetland, but there has never been such a stink. We used to have relatives arriving from abroad and having rest at their relatives' houses in Ltchashen, but this year they haven't arrived because of the stink or visited and they ran away.
…There is full desertification in Ararat Valley. I was surprised to know that so much water was taken, but the water doesn't reach villagers. That's really worrying for us...
…So far 80% of all the entities in Lake Sevan basin have used Sevan water both for drinking and irrigation purposes. All the people have used and are using it, if it had some kind of harmful effect, we would feel that in wide scales.
…Several years ago I saw the lake in the same blooming state near Shorzha cage nets. This part of the lake has waterlogged and the blooming process is active there.
… We don't want additional water intake. The government knows very well what is going on in Lake Sevan. After all this, tourism will hardly ever sustain in Sevan. Currently, everybody is displeased with beaches, if locals don't have a rest here, whether tourists will? Naturally, we don't expect them to arrive here. Here there are concerns with the taxation either. People say we didn't have any holidaymakers, how I can pay these taxes? They want Sevan to turn into a wetland? We don't agree, everything has been destroyed, let this one survive.
…Over the recent 50 years it was the first time we felt such warm water. If the water is over 20 degrees Celsius, you can feel it on your skin. … If the water is infected, we are not allowed to swim in the water saying it's toxic, why is this water taken to Ararat Valley, to water tomatoes and then to kill the people with this tomatoes?
Satik Badeyan: Member of 'Territorial Development and Research Center' NGO Council:
'Our country has never carried out efficiency appraisal, i.e. estimated the difference between the benefit and the loss. Actually, it will turn out we are losing a thousand times when we take water from Lake Sevan in the name of Ararat Valley. We had the same problem with the artesian basin of Ararat Valley. The artesian basin got dry by 70% in the course of 6 years. When you speak about it, it is mentioned that the artesian basin of Ararat Valley is a renewable resource. …However Ararat Valley needs water, they must realize this water mustn't be taken from Sevan, because IF WE SAY THERE IS DROUGHT AND ARARAT VALLEY NEEDS WATER, IT MEANS IT IS DROUGHT AND SEVAN NEEDS MORE WATER. ...We had a year when the animals drank water from the very lake and died in Chkalova area. This area was covered with green algae. The lake level must be raised in all possible ways by having less additional water intake and having water flows into Sevan through Arpa-Sevan. To watch the obligatory restoration of fish reserves. The matter with cage net farms must be solved, they mustn't be in the water, as well as the matter with sewage must be solved.
16:09 August 09, 2018