ArmInfo. Over the past two years, Armenia has managed to minimize water releases from Lake Sevan. Deputy Minister of the Environment Irina Kaplanyan stated this on November 6 at a hearing in parliamentary commissions on the draft state budget of the country in 2021.
According to her, this result was achieved thanks to systematic work. As is known, additional water releases from the lake were previously associated with ineffective water resources management. Thus, the problem of Lake Sevan is directly related to the problem of maintaining the country's water resources at the proper level - with the development of the appropriate infrastructure, due control by water user companies. The Deputy Minister stated that along with the rise in the level of the lake, there is a problem of coastal forests, which may end up under water and start to rot. Previously, the cleaning of coastal forests was not carried out at the proper level, which led to problems. Criminal cases have already been initiated on this issue. There is also a methodological problem in clearing forests. Until recently, the cleaning of the lake from forests was carried out using space images, but in reality, the volume of cleaning turned out to be much larger when studying the issue on the ground. There is a lot of work to be done. In particular, the construction of the Gavar-Martuni water pipeline is nearing completion. Here it remains to solve the problem of several meters of pipelines to connect them to the main water supply. A number of measures for the conservation and reproduction of the Sevan ecosystem will be carried out for a 5 million euro grant from the European Union.
It should be noted that measures are being taken on the lake to clean up the coastal areas, primarily the flooded forests. In total, it is necessary to clean up about 750 hectares of areas around the lake. The cleaning program is designed for 2019-2021. Last year, 98 hectares of territories were cleared, this year it is planned to carry out similar work on another 271 hectares, of which 50 hectares of territory have already been cleared in 2020. Another problem is construction projects that need to be dismantled. In total, there are 1,724 such buildings, of which 31 are the property of the state and local communities. In 2020, it is planned to dismantle 24 buildings at the expense of the state budget. As for the buildings of private individuals, agreements have been concluded with them on dismantling on their own. With the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Infrastructures of the Republic of Armenia and "Veolia Jur" company, a program for the construction of biological treatment plants in the cities of Gavar, Martuni and Vardenis will be implemented. The feasibility study of the project should be completed by the end of this year, after which construction work will begin. Also, a program for the construction of local treatment plants is being implemented with large business entities, of which 17 have already been installed. The EU has provided Armenia with a grant of 5 million euros to solve the lake's problems, and the directions of using these funds are currently being discussed. First of all, attention will be paid to preventing sewage and solid waste from entering Sevan. In order to combat poaching and illegal fishing, whitefish fishing is allowed by the government decision. This year this volume will be 200 tons. This measure has only one goal - to translate the problem into the legal field. In addition, this year, 300 thousand ishkhan fry were released into the lake; a project to restore the population of the kogak, which, in fact, is the orderly of Lake Sevan, is under development.
It should be noted that Lake Sevan is the main source of drinking water in the region, one of the largest alpine lakes in Europe and Asia, located in the very heart of the Armenian Highlands, at an altitude of 1,914 meters. This year, like last year, blue-green algae bloomed in large quantities in the lake, after which the Ministry of Health of Armenia urged the country's residents not to swim in these parts of the lake, since these algae are toxic. In turn, the "blooming" of Sevan caused serious concern of ecologists, who sounded the alarm. Moreover, the experts stated that it is necessary to take appropriate measures and save Sevan. Two versions are put forward as the reasons for the flowering of Sevan, according to the first - the cause is the spread of blue-green algae, as the second - a decrease in the water level in the lake.