Climate Change Impact on Water Resources in Armenia: What Kind of Adaptability Measures To Be Implemented by Government

Climate Change Impact on Water Resources in Armenia: What Kind of Adaptability Measures To Be Implemented by Government

Armenia is considered a water-scarce country. Climate change, decrease in precipitation, increase in temperature and evaporation exert an adverse effect on the formation of snow cover and, therefore, on the formation of the river flow.

"30-60% of the flow of Armenia's rivers comes from snowmelt waters. About 96% of drinking water and more than 40% of total water intake is groundwater. The average volume of water storage per capita in Armenia is around 465 cubic meters, which is considered a low indicator for a country with semi-arid climatic conditions. On the other hand, there is a high level of water consumption. The agriculture sector is considered the biggest water consumer in Armenia," said Lilit Abrahamyan, Head of Water Policy Department of Ministry Environment, during the workshop organized ahead of the 28th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28).

She mentioned that according to the results of the annual river flow assessment carried out for 2030, 2070 and 2100, a reduction of the river flow by 14-39% is predicted. "Decreased river flow due to climate change will exacerbate drought conditions, land degradation, and water accessibility problems in water use sectors, making the development and implementation of appropriate adaptation measures very urgent. Climate change will negatively affect Lake Sevan, the annual river inflow will decrease by 34% or 265 million cubic meters by 2100, which will exert an adverse impact on the biological conditions of the lake.

Evaporation, the largest element of the water balance of the lake, has an increasing trend in recent years associated with the change of the 3 temperature regimes. According to the pessimistic scenario, by 2100 an increase in evaporation by 36.5% or 392 million cubic meters is expected," she noted.

According to forecasts, an increase in the water temperature of Lake Sevan is expected along with the increase in air temperature, in particular, it is predicted that the water temperature will increase by 2°C by 2070, and by 4°C by 2100.

Lilit Abrahamyan noted that RA government is currently implementing a number of programs aimed at reducing and managing climate risks in the water sector in Armenia. The National Adaptation Action Plan and List of Measures for 2021-2025 were approved with the resolution N749-L of May 13, 2021.

November 21, 2023 at 10:18