Astghadzor Community residents, Gegharkounik Region, consider their rights to water being violated. “We want our right to water to be restituted,” Astghadzor community resident Vardan Grigoryan said.
Astghadzor community can’t use the water of Astghadzor River; instead, they use the water of deep wells both for drinking and irrigation purposes. There are 3 deep wells in the community area, the water of which is not sufficient for the residents.
“The people make use of this water for one hour in three days… We used to have a pumping station for irrigation water, via which we took water from Lake Sevan and we also used to have intracommunity water from the Astghadzor River. For 5 days it was provided to neighboring Zolaqar Village and 2 days to Astghadzor. Without asking for our opinions, this water has been taken from us for some projects,” the residents said.
The problem with water in the community was tenser in the summer: the pumping stations supplying water to the community from Lake Sevan were out of order and the water wasn’t supplied to the community from the Astghadzor River, which resulted in the residents to get deprived of their irrigation water and their harvest, consequently.
Neither the community head, not the residents are not aware in the frames of which project the water of the Astghadzor River is piped and transferred to the neighboring community, as they assured. They said no public hearings on this topic had been held in the community.
“The water flowing out of the artesian wells and the water flowing from the mountains are not the same and we can feel the difference. There are also concerns that our region has uranium mines. We used to have uranium detection works, but they had strategic significance, we were not told anything about the results. As a person living nearby, I don’t know the results of the analyses and I don’t know what kind of elements this water is saturated with and to what extent they are harmful for people and health,” Astghadzor community residents said.
In reply to EcoLur’s questions, what they think the solution to the problem can be, the community head said that the drinking water shall be taken from Sarnaghbyur, while a dam should be constructed for the irrigation water so as to store water there and to use in the irrigation season. According to the community head’s estimates, these works will cost around 9-10 million USD. According to the residents, it will be really difficult to obtain such an amount, so they are demanding to recover the previous distribution of the water in the Astghadzor River between two communities.
November 07, 2017 at 19:05