From now on, the users of the land (drainage) systems of Armenia will have to pay 0.11 AMD including VAT for the transfer of 1 cubic meter of return water. The decision was reached at the sitting of the RA Government held on July 22, 2021. Users of these systems must have an appropriate contract, otherwise Environment Ministry will refuse to issue a water use permit.
The total length of the land systems of Armenia is about 1695 km, about 90% of which is 1532 km in Ararat valley. According to the substantiation of the decision, the design capacity of the onshore systems is 36.3 m3/sec or 1145.0 million cubic meters/year, ensuring the discharge of water to the Metsamor, Hrazdan and Araks rivers. Currently, the average annual discharge of water is about 50 cubic meters per second or about 1.6 billion cubic meters per year. The lion's share of 1.6 billion cubic meters of water is extracted annually from Ararat Valley.
According to RA Law on National Water Program, the renewable groundwater resources of the Ararat Valley amount to 1.1 billion cubic meters/year. Meanwhile, water users, according to the substantiation of the decision, exceed 1.1 billion cubic meters. The groundwater resources of the Ararat Valley continue to be overexploited for about 10 years, disrupting the ecological balance of the Ararat artesian basin leading to an ecological catastrophe.
It is known that the super-exploiters of groundwater resources in Ararat Valley are the local fish farms, which mainly overload the drainage systems. In connection with this issue, back in 2019, in response to EcoLur's application, "Meloracia" CJSC informed the Water Committee in its letter, in particular:
The results of the measurement of water discharged from the collector drainage networks of the Ararat Valley by "Meloracia" CJSC showed that the majority of fish farms (about 90%), violating the drainage conditions stipulated by the water use permits, dump the return water to collector drainage networks thus disturbing their natural operations.
According to the monitoring data, the collector drainage networks were operating efficiently until 2002, with a design allowance, ensuring the discharge of about 36.3 cubic meters per second or 1144.8 million cubic meters per year into the Metsamor, Hrazdan and Araks rivers. Since 2003 (beginning of the development of fish farming in Ararat Valley) the volumes of water discharged through collector drainage networks have been gradual at first, whereas in 2009 increased sharply in 2013, amounting to 58.11 cubic meters per second or 1832.6 million cubic meters per year, which is about 60% more than the design capacity of the networks.
On the one hand, about 1.6 billion cubic meters of water is extracted annually from the subsoil of the Ararat Valley, and on the other hand, the farmer of the Ararat Valley is left to rely on the water of Lake Sevan. It is already known that in addition to the 170 million cubic meters provided for in the law, it is planned to draw up to 75 million cubic meters of additional water for irrigation of the lands in Ararat Valley.
July 28, 2021 at 15:06