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 Friday, August 6 2021 16:29
Naira Badalian

Releases from Sevan will increase to 75 million cubic meters: today  the level of Lake Sevan is 4 cm lower than the indicator for the same  period in 2020

Releases from Sevan will increase to 75 million cubic meters: today  the level of Lake Sevan is 4 cm lower than the indicator for the same  period in 2020

ArmInfo.Up to 75 million cubic meters water will be released from Lake Sevan for irrigation. At a Friday session on August 6, the Armenian government approved a  legislative initiative on amendments to the law "On Approval of the  Annual Comprehensive Program of Measures for the Restoration,  Preservation, Reproduction and Use of the Sevan Ecosystem".

Minister of Territorial Administration and Infrastructures of Armenia  Gnel Sanosyan stated, the legislative initiative is aimed at partial  mitigation of the deficit in irrigation water of lands receiving  water from the Sevan-Hrazdan derivation system. So, as of August 1 of  this year, the occupancy of relatively large reservoirs was 226.21  million cubic meters, which is less than the figure for the same  period last year by 125.77 million cubic meters (it was about 351  million cubic meters).   In addition, due to hot weather and low rainfall, the water flow in  the Marmarik, Hrazdan, Kassakh and Azat rivers has sharply decreased,  and to compensate for the lack of water, releases from Sevan and the  republic's reservoirs for irrigation needs this year began earlier  than planned - at 10 days earlier than last year, and during this  period the volume of releases has already reached 19 million cubic  meters.  Meanwhile, in the reservoirs Aparan, Azat and Marmarik -  during the reporting period, a water deficit of 21.43 million cubic  meters has already formed.  Environment Minister Romanos Petrosyan,  in turn, noted that, according to the March forecasts, it was  expected that this year the level of Lake Sevan by the end of June  will reach the highest level in the last 60 years. As the minister  pointed out, the question is this year there was an unprecedented  high temperature background. Today the level of Lake Sevan is 4 cm  lower than in the same period last year. Releases from 170 million  cubic meters permitted by the law have already amounted to about 157  million cubic meters, and daily water releases from the lake are  2-2.5 million cubic meters.  As a result, the government decided to  increase the maximum water release rate of 170 million cubic meters  to 245 million cubic meters. The ministers assured the Prime Minister  that this year they will no longer apply to the Cabinet of Ministers  with such a request.

To recall, on December 6, 2019, the National Assembly of the Republic  of Armenia, at its session on December 6 in the second and final  reading, amended the law "On Approval of the Annual and Comprehensive  Programs of Measures for the Restoration, Preservation, Reproduction  and Use of the Lake Sevan Ecosystem" and stated that henceforth the  Government of Armenia will be limited in water intake from Lake  Sevan. It was noted that, according to the current legislation,  annual releases from the lake should not exceed 170 million cubic  meters. However, since 2012, the government has annually applied to  parliament with proposals to increase the volume of water withdrawal.  As a result, in 2012, 2014, 2017, 2018, a water withdrawal was  carried out from the lake, almost twice the established norm, as a  result of which the lake lacked 1.5 billion cubic meters of water. As  a result, the decrease in the level of the lake led to the threat of  waterlogging. In the first reading, it was proposed to establish the  maximum limit for water intake from the lake at 170 million cubic  meters. However, then, after lengthy discussions, it was decided that  in the event of a drought, the government of the country would have  the right to appeal to parliament with a proposal for additional  water releases, and on this request a separate law would have to be  adopted.  At the same time, the executive body will have to  documentarily substantiate its request.

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 heart of  the Armenian Highlands, at an altitude of 1914 meters. In length,  from northwest to southeast, the lake stretches for more than 70  kilometers, and the area of its water surface reaches almost 1.5  thousand square kilometers. The only source of the lake originates -  the Hrazdan River (a tributary of the Araks), while 28 rivers flow  into it, the total area of the basins of which is 2776 sq.   kilometers. By 2030, the lake level will be increased to the optimal  1903.5 m. 


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