Challenges of Lake Sevan Presented by State, Research and Civil Society Representatives

Challenges of Lake Sevan Presented by State, Research and Civil Society Representatives

There are 1,697 buildings below the 1,901m mark on the shore of Lake Sevan, which need to be dismantled. 2750 ha area is subject to clearing of vegetation. At present, about 2250 ha area has been cleared. This is what was presented by RA Deputy Minister of Environment Aram Meimaryan during the panel discussion on "Main Challenges of Lake Sevan Ecosystem Management, Prospects for Its Conservation and Sustainable Development" at the International Conference "Joining efforts for the preservation and sustainable development of the ecosystem of Lake Sevan".

He mentioned that the areas subject to reforestation still amount to 663 ha according to the decision of RA government reached in 2012. Referring to the implementation of industrial fishing in Lake Sevan and the release of young trout, he noted. "We had some positive change when the order of industrial fishing was established in Lake Sevan. We are trying to create the prerequisites that will allow us to ensure the sustainable development of Lake Sevan and achieve our vision," Aram Meimaryan said.

Bardukh Gabrielyan, Chair of Expert Committe for Protection of Lake Sevan of NAS RA, noted that first we need to decide what quality of water we want to see in Lake Sevan and take measures based on that.

While mentioning the water quality problems of Lake Sevan, Bardukh Gabrielyan said, "What problems do we have? It is blooming, the changes in the physico-chemical composition of the water in Lake Sevan. What should be done? First, we must not have a negative balance. The lake level must rise by at least 1 cm per year, otherwise we end up in a worse condition if we raise the level, then make it lower than we were before the rise. The shores are washed, additional organic matter is introduced into the lake, then we reduce to the old volume, we have a higher concentration. The level increase is very important for us to move towards higher quality."

The Chair of Sevan Committee mentioned 2 main factors accounting for the blooming of the lake. "It is the high temperature and the biogenic elements, we are talking about phosphorus and nitrogen, which create favorable conditions for that blooming. We should think about reducing water discharges from Lake Sevan, and this can be done in 2 ways, if we reduce water losses, which experts claim reach 80% in some places. If we cut the losses in half, we can close that deficit with a raise. The second way for us to have is a proper inflow of water through Arpa-Sevan and a more correct and manageable use of river water as a source of irrigation in the basin."

Khachatur Meliksetyan, a member of Expert Committee for Protection of Lake Sevan of NAS RA, Director of Institute of Geology of NAS RA, said that, non-populist decisions should be made in order to save Lake Sevan. According to the results of the USAID project, water consumption is 1.2-1.5 billion cubic meters. In the case of Sevan, we are talking about the use of 170 million cubic meters of water for irrigation, which is increased to 245 million by the decision of the parliament, but we use 7-9 times more water from the Ararat underground basin, which directly flows into the Araks River. We must understand that the salvation of Sevan lies in taking non-populist decisions and implementing those decisions in a strict manner.

If development of the underground basin of the Ararat Valley continues in the same way, in a few years we will not have water there at all. It is less now than it was 5 or 10 years ago. In that case, the burden on Sevan will increase several times," Khachatur Meliksetyan said.

Armen Sergoyan, Head of Water Supply and Drainage Systems Department of Water Committee of RA TAI, emphasized the importance of directing the connection of science and production to the construction of treatment plants using new technologies. It is desirable to be able to direct the connection of science and production to the development of this thunder, in particular, to be able to introduce such technologies that would allow, with relatively small investments, to create easy-to-manage, low-cost treatment plants, and to introduce them. As a result, that purified water can be used for irrigation." He noted that the Water Committee has set a target to be able to provide water supply and drainage services by specialized operators in all communities and settlements by 2030.

Levon Azizyan, Acting Director of "Hydrometeorology and Monitoring Center" of RA Environment Ministry, noted that the work of their organization is focused on the creation and management of data of state significance on Lake Sevan, information collection, analysis, evaluation, research and forecasting of their interrelations.

Liana Asoyan, President of "BLEJAN" environmental, social, business support NGO, noted that they have started to implement " Water Cooperation Council of Lake Sevan" project, which aims to create a partnership mechanism that will gather all parties concerned with the Sevan problem to find a solution together.

July 06, 2022 at 11:25