EcoLur thinks that Qaghtsrashen gravity irrigation project bears antisocial and anti-environmental risks. The letter addressed to Nature Protection Ministry says, 'Currently the Qaghtsrashen gravity irrigation project undergoes environmental expertise. The project plans to take water from the Azat River in pipes for the irrigation of Aygestan, Berdik, Getazat, Deghzut, Hnaberd, Mrganush, Narek,Nerqin Dvin, Norashen, Vardashen, Verin Dvin and Qaghtsrashen communities.”
The project has anti-environmental nature taking into consideration the data laid down in the project. The system will be constructed in the immediate proximity to Khosrov State Reserve and Symphony of Stones - a monument of nature. The Azat River is the main factor in forming the ecosystem of the Azat Gorge. Khosrov reserve, Garni gorge, Symphony of Stones and other communities are in the project affected zone, as well as all other communities, which use the water of the Azat River and Azat reservoir.
Currently “Yerevan Jur” Company uses 1.560 l/s water from Azat and Goght river water basins. From June to October Garni Village takes 11.44 million cum water and 1.32 million cum water from Goght River. The project doesn’t mention anything how much water is needed for the villages in Ararat. The project only says that 0.85 m3/sec water will be left in the river as environmental flow.
The project risks are as follows:
1. Even the project says that the remaining flow in the river will be reduced in the dry and hot weather, which means that the riverbed can get dry.
2. The project area is located in the semi-desert and desert zones, while the absence of water will promote desertification processes in Garni Gorge, where lack of water has already been observed.
3. Qaghtsrashen gravity irrigation project will be constructed with World-bank funded “Improvement of Irrigation System” project. The liability for the project bears the project implementer – State Committee on Water Industry.
Qaghtsrashen gravity irrigation project shall be turned down due to antisocial and anti-environmental nature.
18:08 December 27, 2014