The parliamentary standing committee on agriculture and environment voted for the governmental resolution on increasing water outlets from Lake Sevan by only one vote: 5 votes – “against” and five votes – ‘for.’
Below we present tense parliamentary hearings on this governmental project held on 19 March.
Evelina Ghukasyan: Director at Institute of Hydroecology and Ichthyology of Scientific Center for Zoology and Hydroecology of NAS RA
-According to the data from our hydrometerological station, the maximum water input into the lake made up 220 million cubic meters. Now it’s proposed to let out 240 million cubic meters, and consequently it turns out that we lower the lake level for upcoming five years, if we take such amount of water. I insist that the decrease in the lake level even by several centimeters can cause serious consequences.
Bardukh Gabrielyan: Director at Scientific Center for Zoology and Hydroecology of NAS RA
-A decision was reached that fish farms should proceed to valve regime by 70%, which would bring the artesian water into balance. If such a measure is planned, is there any sense to take water from Lake Sevan?
Inga Zarafyan, “EcoLur” Informational NGO President
-Fish breeding project with cage nets in Lake Sevan is not an environmental project, but a business. It contradicts to RA Law “On Lake Sevan”. I’m calling the Nature Protection Ministry to voice not for the business interest and fish farmers, but for Sevan.
Levon Galstyan, Pan-Armenian Environmental Front
-The condition that the artesian basin of Ararat valley is currently in is a crime towards not only Armenian people, but also the whole humanity. If you want to make experiments on Lake Sevan with new logic, then find loans to recover Lake Sevan, which won’t be feasible, we don’t want to live in such a country. If you want to live, find another country to live in and all live there.
Michael Melqumyan – MP
-We can’t leave 29 communities with their population of 40,000 without water, as it will cause 40,000 people to emigrate this country. Please, mention risks for Sevan and peasant emigration risks, i.e. we need to correlate risks and to balance them and to find the right decision.
Aram Harutyunyan – Nature Protection Minister
-Today I am happy to mention that Lake Sevan level has increased by about 3.75 meters. This is a real achievement, which enables us announcing today that our rates are progressive. I do agree with the approaches, if we deal with Lake Sevan, the discussions shall be held in this way. The proposal of Nature Protection Ministry is as follows: it’s not recommended to increase water outlets, but if they are increased, negative balance shouldn’t be recorded. As of today, the level of Lake Sevan is 1900,17 cm. We say that 240 million cubic meters is the norm and water outlet should be carried out within these frames. What about Ararat Valley, I don’t want to burden all the guilt on the fish farms. Our aim is to use the water resource, which is recoverable, i.e. it will result in the recovery of the water resources in Ararat Valley.
Find the full version in Armenian.
11:59 March 28, 2014