ArmInfo.The state will allocate funds for cleaning up Lake Sevan. The Minister of Nature Protection Erik Grigoryan said this on July 9 at National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia commenting on the waterlogging of the lake.
According to the Minister, the lake's currently observed waterlogging occurs for several reasons, primarily with the discharge of sewage and harmful substances from human activity, in particular, with emissions from local restaurants and cafes. Increasing the level of the lake leads to the drowning of some nearby territories, including trees and shrubs, which in the process of decay also create certain problems for the lake. Yesterday samples of lake waters were sent to the National Academy of Sciences. At present, using the Japanese equipment, studies are being conducted on the state of the lake, which will provide answers to many questions.
Erik Grigoryan believes that the level of Sevan should not be lowered, on the contrary, it must be raised. "Work to increase the water level in Lake Sevan should be carried out as quickly as possible. If previously, the cleaning works affected 80 or 100 hectares per year, now, with the participation of the Prime Minister's staff, the cleaning works will take place both this year and the next two years and will affect 770 hectares, "the minister assured, adding that at present, annual water withdrawals from the lake, as a rule, are 20 million cubic meters less than that provided for by the Sevan flora and fauna restoration program.
Earlier, the Ministry of Nature Protection of Armenia provided information on the ecological status of Lake Sevan and the steps taken in connection with the threat of waterlogging of the lake. The message of the Ministry, in particular, states: ''Recently, the growth of blue-green algae of the genus Anabaena has been observed in Lake Sevan. These algae in the lake were first seen in the 1940s and the first flowering was recorded in 1964 and repeated in different volumes in other years, including in 2018''.
According to experts, several factors contributed to the growth of blue-green algae - wastewater from dozens of settlements and coastal objects flowing into a lake, agriculture, fish farming and animal husbandry, in particular, phosphorus and nitrogen residues penetrating into the waters of Sevan, flooded coastal forest belt , high temperature and climatic changes, low precipitation, as well as frequent and strong winds that increase evaporation of water. According to the Ministry, in May of this year only 36 million cubic meters of precipitation were recorded, which is close to the historically minimum (33 million). In order to stabilize the ecological state of the lake, the Ministry of the Environment has already carried out and continues to take a number of actions: 1. Daily work is underway to define the demand for irrigation water and reduce water withdrawal from Sevan; water withdrawal volumes are monitored through field research; 2. Constant monitoring is carried out in order to obtain information on the current state of the lake and work to strengthen the monitoring system; 3. The Ministry of the Nature Protection has applied to UNESCO to give Lake Sevan and the adjacent territory the status of a biosphere reserve. An official letter from UNESCO confirmed that work in this direction has already begun; 4. Simulation of 1D water quality monitoring in Lake Sevan was carried out with the involvement of the Helmholtz Center in Germany and the Institute of Hydroecology and Ichthyology of the National Academy of Sciences; 5. On June 26, the Ministry sent an official letter to the Ministry of Education and Science of Germany to conduct large-scale monitoring work, including assessing the nutrient balance for the lake and defining nutrient management objectives, developing a model for evaluating the effectiveness of 1D (nutrients, plankton, dissolved in water oxygen), the development of a hydrodynamic 3D model, the assessment of water quality through satellite remote sensing, the assessment of various control scenarios and the identification of problems etc..
The Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research in Germany, Lake Research Department, Institute for Baltic Sea Research in Leibnitz (Warnemunde, Germany), company for research and environmental protection in Germany (EOMAP GmbH Seefeld), Scientific Center for Zoology and Hydroecology of NAS RA, SNCO Center for Monitoring and Information of the Environment of the Ministry of Nature Protection of the Republic of Armenia, Service of Hydrometeorology and Atmospheric Effects of the Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Republic of Armenia. The ministry also agreed with the EU a grant of 5 million euros for addressing environmental issues related to Lake Sevan. The government has discussed the issue of cleaning the rivers flowing into the lake,which in some areas, especially in populated areas, turned into a garbage dump.
The areas to be cleaned (up to 1901.5 m -770 hectares) have been specified. In this regard, a competition has been announced, it is planned to complete the cleaning work in 2019-2022. The Ministry is developing legislative projects aimed at reducing pollution of the lake with municipal sewage. At the request of the Ministry, 14 large business entities operating in the coastal areas of Lake Sevan have already installed wastewater treatment plants at service and leisure centers. To note, in recent months, the Lake Sevan ecosystem has deteriorated sharply. As a result of an increase in algae, the lake swiftly swamps. The quality of water has deteriorated so much that in recent days there has been a decline in livestock in the coastal areas of Sevan.