In the frames of S.O.S Sevan initiative, 'EcoLur' Informational NGO team continues the awareness-raising against the additional water intake from Lake Sevan in Gavar, Martuni and Astghadzor communities in Gegharkounik Region.
Water Committee of RA Ministry for Energy Infrastructures and Natural Resources intends to carry out additional water intake of 40 million cum water, besides the statutory water intake of 170 million cum from Lake Sevan for the purpose of irrigating Ararat Valley and producing additional electricity through Sevan-Hrazdan hydro cascade.
Liana Asoyan, President of 'Blejan' NGO:
Lake Sevan is not only water: it's an ecosystem and we want the government's approach to be like this. Over the recent 10 years, 4 times additional water intake has been carried out from Lake Sevan. We shouldn't keep silence on Sevan's problems, but raise them and try to tackle them...
Ishkhan Saghatelyan, Gegharkounik Regional Head:
On additional water intake from Lake Sevan:
Additional water intake is unacceptable for us, as, according to our assessment, the additional water intake last year resulted in the current changes in Lake Sevan – blooming etc.
On SHPPs in Lake Sevan basin:
We can't stand up now and say that no SHPP shall operate from now on, but if these SHPPs are constructed with violations and are still operating in an illegal manner, we must refer to them.
If there is an HPP, which operated with all the relevant documents, has undergone all the procedures, we can't say to stop the operation straightforward. If you the documentation of a certain HPP, we can deal with this matter. Here there is a matter of state policy as well, we can't have a selective approach: the common policy must be checked – the damage caused by these HPPs, the benefit they make and the expediency of their operation. If there are HPPs, which have entirely violated the rules, we don't have any limitation to raise these problems and suspend them, if needed.
We are very concerned with this issue: we are against even taking one glass of water from Lake Sevan. We have been deprived of Astghadzor river water, which we used to use, then this water was taken to Zolaqar Village in the frames of an IFAD project by the government. Now we are using deep well water, which is not useful for drinking, but we have to use them, as well as Lake Sevan water. Sevan water is available only for a part of the village. The pumps are very old and water can't be pumped through them. We live here ourselves and don't have water.
Anahit Gevorgyan, 'Martuni Women's Community Council' NGO President:
Water intake from Lake Sevan has 3 aims at once: first, ensuring their buildings from rising water. Second, the additional water intake from Lake Sevan is not used for irrigation, but for the fish farms in Ararat Valley. Third, the water flows for the production of additional electricity for Sevan-Hrazdan hydro cascade and they pocket the profit.
Carrying out additional water intake this year, when Arpa-Sevan tunnel is closed, the lake has a negative balance, the temperature has risen and the lake is in the process of waterlogging: even taking one bucket of water from Lake Sevan is banned.
14:09 August 10, 2018