S.O.S Sevan Initiative's Open Letter to RA National Assembly

S.O.S Sevan Initiative's Open Letter to RA National Assembly

S.O.S Sevan Initiative

S.O.S Sevan Initiative, which unites dozens of NGOs and individuals, has addressed an open letter to RA National Assembly Speaker Ara Babloyan, Chair of RA National Assembly Standing Committee on Territorial Administration, Local Governance, Agriculture and Nature Protection Vardevan Grigoryan and all MPs proposing to reject the draft law submitted by the Armenian Government on the additional water intake from Lake Sevan. The open letter says,

'On 23 August the Government reached a unanimous decision on the additional water intake in the amount of 40 million cum from Lake Sevan.

The bill on making amendments to RA Law 'On Approving Annual and Complex Programs for Recovery, Conservation, Reproduction and Use of Lake Sevan Ecosystem' will be submitted on 28 August for the consideration of the National Assembly during its extraordinary session. During the discussion, mainly irrigation water problems were presented. No assessment has been given to the dangers threatening Lake Sevan as a result of the expected water intake. The substantiations submitted by NGOs, scientists and experts on the lake waterlogging risks conditioned with the decrease in Lake Sevan level were not presented, which had already been submitted to Armenian PM by S.O.S Sevan Initiative with the help of an open letter. The Government didn't refer to the risks threatening the littoral communities of Lake Sevan, which are conditioned with the decrease in tourism business and deterioration of the social state because of the ecological state of the lake, which we eyewitnessed this year.

During the discussion, the impermissibility of the negative balance of Lake Sevan was mentioned, but nobody said that since January 2018 till now Lake Sevan has had a negative balance, which contradicts the requirements of RA Law 'On Lake Sevan' and underlying RA Law 'On Approving Annual and Complex Programs for Recovery, Conservation, Reproduction and Use of Lake Sevan Ecosystem'. This fact shows that the Government adopted an illegal decision. The project risks are as follows:

1. The processing taking place currently in Lake Sevan witness that intensive waterlogging process has started in the lake: organic substances have accumulated in Lake Sevan, while the decrease in the lake level doesn't support the self-cleaning of Lake Sevan, while high temperature activates new, non-desirable biological processes, which have already resulted in lake blooming.

2. After the algal bloom in Sevan, the algae reside on the bottom of the lake causing oxygen deficit. It can have an extremely serious effect on the fish world of Lake Sevan.

3. The additional water outlet from Lake Sevan won't solve the irrigation problems in Ararat Valley, as the water loss in Sevan-Hrazdan aqueduct makes up 70-80% and the water doesn't reach the farmers.

4. Starting from the end of June 2018, the level of Lake Sevan has started decreasing and the further decrease will lead to the change in water quality. Under such conditions, we will have a wetland instead of freshwater in Lake Sevan, the water of which can't be used for irrigation at all.

Eventually, it should be assessed what kind of losses Armenia and Armenian people will have if they lose Lake Sevan.

S.O.S Sevan Initiative is calling for  RA National Assembly Speaker Ara Babloyan, Chair of RA National Assembly Standing Committee on Territorial Administration, Local Governance, Agriculture and Nature Protection Vardevan Grigoryan and all MPs to reject the bill on making amendments to RA Law 'On Approving Annual and Complex Programs for Recovery, Conservation, Reproduction and Use of Lake Sevan Ecosystem' approved by the Armenian Government.

19:09 August 23, 2018


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