Shaqi SHPP violates the established water use regime by operating during prohibited hours. EcoLur's camera recorded that in the afternoon of August, Shaqi SHPP was working and water was being discharged from the station.
Shaqi SHPP draws water from the Shaqi River, which forms the Shaqi Waterfall, a natural monument in Syunik Region.
Until 2017 ShaQi Waterfall was dry during the operation of Shaqi SHPP. A new water use regime was established for the SHPP in 2017, according to which the SHPP should not draw water from the Shaqi River from March 15 to April 30, from 11:00 to 17:00, from May 1 to September 30 from 11:00 to 19:00, from October 1 to November 15 from 11:00 to 17:00 to form Shaqi Waterfall to ensure tourist flows.
Shaqi Waterfall is one of the famous tourist attractions in the region. To see the waterfall, a large number of tourists visit both the regions of the country and abroad. However, the fact that the waterfall is formed only at certain hours often causes disappointment when they see dry stones outside the established hours instead of the waterfall.
Photo Credit: Edvard Arzumanyan
"It is difficult to explain to a foreigner that the waterfall schedule operates within the framework of a certain contract.
We have had cases when people came, then there was an unpleasant conversation that the waterfall is artificial, open, closed. While you explain that this is not the case, the method of efficient use of water has been developed, it is already in vain," Vardan Ivanyan said, Deputy Community Head of Sisian, noting that the temporary closure and opening of Shaqi Waterfall hinders the development of tourism.
According to the RA Law on Specially Protected Areas, any activity that threatens its protection is prohibited in the area occupied by a natural monument in Armenia. The protection regime of the natural monument is set in the passport drawn up for each natural monument. According to Article 20 of the law, economic activity is prohibited in the zone of protection of specially protected areas, which may threaten the stability of the ecosystems in those areas.
The residents of Sisian told EcoLur that operating the waterfall for certain hours damages the waterfall. There have been cases of rockfall from the waterfall.
September 15, 2020 at 12:25