Gorayq Community Demanded from 'Vorotan-7' SHPP Developer to Install A Water-Meter to Control Environmental Flow

Gorayq Community Demanded from 'Vorotan-7' SHPP Developer to Install A Water-Meter to Control Environmental Flow


The second public hearings on the working project of 'Vorotan-7' SHPP was held today in Gorayk Community, Syunik Region, Armenia.

'Vorotan-7' SHPP is constructed on the Vorotan River in Syunik Region, Armenia. 'HGNQ Group' LLC has developed SHPP since 2012, but the company has reached a decision to reconstruct and re-equip the SHPP to ensure high economic profitability and energy production of the HPP, as well as to use water resource more efficiently.

The environmental flow has been set in the water usage permit. The experts have proposed the company to examine whether the environmental flow of 0.58 m3/s laid down in the water usage permit is sufficient for the Vorotan River and surrounding natural ecosystems. The new project sets an environmental flow of 1.25 m3/s instead of 0.58 m3/s, the estimated yield to be used by the SHPP is 7.0 m3/s instead of previous 5.0 m3/s, the projected capacity has been set 1.35 MW. The SHPP shall annually produce 3.52 million kW/h electricity instead of previous 3.26 million kW/h.

During both the first and the second hearings the main demand posed by Gorayq community was ensuring environmental flow, movement of fish and mandatory installation of a water-measuring device.

'For example, one of my residents wants to go and see on the spot how much water is let out into the SHPP, how s/he shall do it? I have demanded to pay a close attention to the environmental flow, to install a water-measuring device, so as we call follow water amount any time,' Gorayq Community Head Arustam Arustamyan said in his interview with EcoLur. In reply, the company promised to install a ruler in the initial period, and later when they can afford a water-measuring device, they will install it. The company has also promised to ensure the passage of fish via a fish passway, to install a fish-protecting net, to fence the area of the SHPP canal, where villagers' cattle often fall into and get drowned, as the community head said. 'In some parts the SHPP water flows through a canal and there were cases when our cattle fell down into it and get drowned and out villagers inflicted damage. I've proposed to fence its sides. They've promised to solve these problems within 10-15 days...I've also proposed to install a fish-protecting net...I've also proposed to grow young fish in the reservoirs. They told me that already have an arrangement with a company growing young fish, so as they will be able to do it,' Arustam Arustamyan said.

What about social programs, according to the community head, the company told them they don't have certain funds for the implementation of certain programs and they can only provide construction materials to the community.

In 2016 Gorayq community was joined to Sarnakunq, Spandaryan and Tghuk communities under community enlargement project. The enlargened community has 1830 residents. According to Arustam Arustamyan, the administrative area of Gorayq community has 7 operating SHPPs, out of which 3 SHPPs are on the Vorotan river and 4 SHPPs are on the tributaries to the Vorotan. According to the community head, they don't have problems with the irrigation, but they are concerned with the fish world of the Vorotan River.
'The Vorotan River has long been famous for its whitefish, but now the fish reserves have reduced twice because of human activities. Can you imagine that police officers don't go home whole summer to catch poachers, who catch fish with electricity? In my opinion, SHPP fish passways haven't been constructed well in certain regards. That's the reason why the fish can't flow upwards during the spawning period,' Gorayq community head expressed his concerns.

Watch for more details in the video.

The material was developed in the frames of “Supporting new reforms in SHPP sector through CSO-government dialogue” supported by UNDP/GEF Small Grants Programme".

19:03 May 26, 2017

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