Scientist: Lake Sevan Level To Begin to Drop by 3 Meters from 2030-2032

Scientist: Lake Sevan Level To Begin to Drop by 3 Meters from 2030-2032

These days, the blooming of Sevan Lake with blue-green algae reminds us all of the poor ecological condition of the lake. The lake problems are mainly caused with falling levels, pollution, loss of fish stocks and global warming. The primary and most important measure for restoring the ecological balance of Lake Sevan, improving the ecological condition, is to raise the level of the lake.

The steady rise in the lake level stopped when additional water intakes from the lake began. After the last additional water intake in 2021, the level of Lake Sevan still does not have a positive balance. As of July 18, 2022, the lake level makes up 1900.68 m, which is 7 cm lower than the level of the same day last year. In the current situation, the steps taken to raise the level of the lake do not give significant results.

According to Seyran Minasyan, director of Institute of Chemical Physics named after Nalbandian of NAS RA, apart from the fact that Lake Sevan has an annual level fluctuation, it also has a long-term level fluctuation cycle. "Now it was the cycle of raising Sevan. That variation is about 3 meters with an average duration of 65 years. From 2030-2032, it will start to fall by 3 meters. If we consider the pessimistic predictions about Lake Sevan in the Fourth National Communication on Climate Change along with the natural decrease of the lake level by 3 meters, the situation of Sevan will be catastrophic," he said during one of the workshops organized within the framework of the "EU4Sevan" project.  According to the worst-case scenario of the Fourth National Communication on Climate Change, the total river inflow to Lake Sevan will decrease by about 34% by 265 million cubic meters by 2100, however, the evaporation will increase by 36.5%, 392 million cum, by 2100.

Seyran Minasyan proposed to develop and launch a work program for complex monitoring, assessment and forecasting of the ecological state of Lake Sevan ecosystem. "This should not only refer to the water of Lake Sevan, the flowing rivers, but also to Ararat valley, agriculture, irrigation system. This is the only way out.

Otherwise, we will have to accept 200-300 thousand people fleeing from the swamps. It will be dry here as well. Internal emigration will occur in 30 years," he said. According to him, the level of the lake should be raised to 1909 m instead of the planned 1903.5 m mark in order to stabilize the ecological condition of Sevan.

It should be noted that after that workshop, the EU4Sevan program announced a competition for the assessment of the consequences/impact of the increase in the water level of Lake Sevan.

July 19, 2022 at 10:38