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 Monday, August 14 2023 16:28
Alina Hovhannisyan

Former Environment Minister: The best way to help Sevan is `to leave  it alone`

Former Environment Minister: The best way to help Sevan is `to leave  it alone`

ArmInfo. The best way to help Sevan is 'to leave it alone'.  Former Minister of the Environment of  Armenia Sargis Shahazizyan expressed a similar opinion during a press conference on August 14.

In this regard, he added that only specialists should deal with  issues related to Sevan, but today everyone is talking about the  problems of Sevan, offering their solutions.

"Today we are artificially lowering the water level of the lake, not  thinking that we can rely not only on Sevan. There are so many water  resources in Armenia that we can use and finally leave Sevan alone,"  stressed the former minister.

According to Shahazizyan, today the main crisis in the country is not  about the lack of water, but about the proper management of water  resources. He noticed that 60-70% of irrigation water does not reach  its destination. <Let's direct the finances to repair the network.  And as far as possible, we will organize the flow of water into the  lake in a closed mode due to climatic conditions, since a large  amount of water evaporates>, he said. In this context, he said that  90% of the water entering Sevan evaporates, and any climate change  can lead to an increase in the level of evaporation.

Shahazizyan also  mentioned that there is no need to build treatment  plants on large rivers flowing into Sevan, which pass through  settlements. "We talk a lot, but we do nothing," complained the  former head of the environmental department.

Water losses were also caused by the Arpa-Sevan canal being idle for  7 years. According to him, from 2010 to 2017, 1.7 billion cubic  meters could reach Sevan, in the case when 1 cm of the lake level is  equal to about 14 million cubic meters.

Shahazizyan noted that the water of Sevan descends mainly to the  foothill belts - to Yeghvard, Kotayk, Aragatsotn regions, certain  parts reach Baghramyan. In this regard, the former statesman  complained that the capacities of the Akhuryan reservoir are not  being used, which, in his opinion, is due to the lack of a normal  network and management.

"We need serious public administration, a serious approach," he  stated, noting that there is water in Armenia, but it is used  irrationally.

Among the problems of Sevan, he also mentioned the water blooming,  the drying of pines on the coastal part of the lake. Shahazizyan  associated the latter with the import of infected seedlings that did  not pass the appropriate phytocontrol.

In early July, the National Assembly of Armenia approved a bill on  increasing water releases from Lake Sevan from the existing170  million cubic meters to 240 million cubic meters. Presenting the bill  during an extraordinary meeting, Deputy Minister of Territorial  Administration and Infrastructures of Armenia Vache Terteryan noted  that such a need arose due to weather conditions, the level of  filling of water basins and river flow indicators. To the remark of  the oppositionists that this bill contradicts the law adopted by the  authorities on approving the volume of water releases from Sevan in  the amount of 170 million cubic meters, he objected, noting that the  new document was discussed with the relevant bodies to identify legal  contradictions. <In the law we adopted earlier, there is a clause  <if>, so this <if> has come. We discussed the project with the  relevant bodies- there are no legal contradictions," Terteryan  assured. 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 heart of the Armenian Highlands, at  an altitude of 1914 meters. 

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