How Will Increase in Lake Sevan Level Affect Lake Ecosystem and Related Infrastructures: Research by Armenian-Czech Consortium

How Will Increase in Lake Sevan Level Affect Lake Ecosystem and Related Infrastructures: Research by Armenian-Czech Consortium

On May 30, 2024, the concluding workshop of "Comprehensive Assessment of Impact of Increase in Lake Sevan Level" project took place. The project is part of the UNDP program "Environmental Protection of Lake Sevan" (EU4Sevan) and was implemented by the consortium of "CIVITTA AM" CJSC (Armenia), "JINJ" LLC (Armenia) and SWECO (Czech Republic).

The objective of the project was to assess the comprehensive impact of raising the water level of Lake Sevan to the target of 1903.5 m and an additional 1.5 m of wave height. Studies have shown that the volume of water needed to raise the level of Lake Sevan to 1,903.5 m is approximately 3,800 million cubic meters, which will make it possible to reduce the ecological risks of the lake.

Frank Hess, Head of Cooperation at the Delegation of the European Union to Armenia, in his welcoming speech, emphasizing the importance of the comprehensive assessment process of the increase in the level of Lake Sevan, noted that the work done will allow the Armenian government and interested parties to make decisions based on actual data.

Konstantin Sokulsky, the UNDP Deputy Permanent Representative in Armenia, noted, "This assessment will help effectively plan and implement the measures needed to restore the lake."

Gor Ghazaryan, Project Manager on behalf of "CIVITTA AM" CJSC, noted that raising the water level alone will not solve the issue of the stability of the lake's ecosystem. "It's not like if the lake level rises 3m, the blooming will stop. Here we should talk more about raising water levels and improving water quality. Within the framework of the project, the impact of the surrounding infrastructure on the roads, railway, Arpa-Sevan tunnel, which will be partially submerged, was considered," he said.

According to Gor Ghazaryan, if the lake level rises by 3 meters, 925 properties will remain under water. It is very important that the decision-makers combine economic and environmental interests, and that the environmental wins over the economic, so that years later we don't have a lake turned into a swamp," he emphasized.

Project Lead noted that although climate change is an obstacle to raising the level of the lake, the implementation of the right actions and measures does not make it impossible to reach the index set by the law.

Astghik Danielyan, PhD, Project Coordinator at UNDP Environmental Protection of Lake Sevan (EU4Sevan) Project, noted that during the assessment of the effects of the lake level rise, modeling of water quantity and quality was carried out considering climate change scenarios.

Astghik Danielyan responded to EcoLur's question, to what extent and when it is realistic to record the planned increase of 6 m. "Regulation of water intakes from the lake is very important. We address it in the framework of the review of "Law on Sevan", as well as in the work on the development of the Sevan strategy, because all these works are interrelated. Our job provides more information on how to schedule other jobs.

During the event, "SWECO" expert Filip Cejka presented the results of quantitative and qualitative modeling of the assessment of the impact of the increase in the level of Lake Sevan. Based on quantitative and qualitative water modeling, the project analyzed impacts on a number of sectors, including monitoring, hydropower generation, agriculture, tourism, mining, groundwater, infrastructure, environment, lake water inflow and fisheries. Arevik Hovsepyan from "JINJ" company and "CIVITTA AM" experts Gevorg Nazaryan, Anna Meliksetyan, Alina Parazyan, Mariam Petrosyan, Lusine Hambaryan, Susanna Hakobyan, Samvel Pipoyan presented their reports on the impacts on these sectors.

June 03, 2024 at 16:38