ArmInfo. "Once again, we are convinced of the insolvency of our business executives in the issues of water management," the independent expert on water resources Ph.D. Knarik Hovhannisyan said in a conversation with ArmInfo correspondent, commenting on the legislative initiative of the Armenian government to increase in 2017 the volume of water releases from Lake Sevan from 170 million cubic meters to 270 million cubic meters.
"After all, according to the most conservative estimates, 60% of the valuable Sevan water in the form of leaks in the irrigation system is lost, not reaching the consumer. By the way, farmers who are addressed to the decision to increase releases, say that the Sevan water to them almost does not reach. In reservoirs designed to regulate river flow, water is not retained because of their unfitness, unpreparedness, as a result, a significant part of the flow, filtered through the walls, the bottom, the body of the dam, is lost," the expert said. According to her, one must also take into account the undeniable fact that lowering the level of Lake Sevan entails an inevitable reduction in the flow rate of springs, team-mates of the lake. "This has already happened in our memory. We were confronted with the fait accompli, when the underground water resources of the Ararat basin were used thoughtlessly, predatory, bringing its level to an unacceptable level. This led to the adoption of today's decision. Well, now it's Sevan's turn! What next? Sevan is silent. Water ecosystems do not cry, they die in silence," K. Hovhanissyan stated.
To remind, today the National Assembly of Armenia made an amendment to the law "On the approval of the program of restoration, conservation, reproduction and use of the Lake Sevan ecosystem" at the first reading. According to Arsen Harutyunyan, chairman of the State Committee for Water Resources of the Republic of Armenia, the reason for the increase in water releases was the fact that in the current year the filling of the Aparan and Azat reservoirs was 17 million cubic meters less than in the previous year, while the Hrazdan River is less full 40 million cubic meters. In addition, the Akhuryan reservoir was filled with 105 million cubic meters less. Additional releases of water from the lake will solve the problems with irrigation of 130 thousand beneficiaries. In addition, water releases will make it possible to use the Sevan- Hrazdan Cascade of HPPs. To note, as Artsvik Minasyan, head of the Ministry of Nature Protection of Armenia, stated earlier, it is impossible to produce more water from Lake Sevan, even for energy purposes. "The Ministry considers Sevan a strategic water resource, the value is even higher than the possible benefits from additional electricity and crops," he said.