Losing Our Water

Losing Our Water


The water in Armenia is getting more and more polluted with the wastes. The process threatens to become irreversible for the transboundary rivers. At least three transboundary rivers – Debed, Voghji and Araks have the most hazardous – category 5 of pollution. All they have huge amount of molybdenum, which conditions high pollution. Besides molybdenum, some water also has other pollutants, such as cobalt, nickel, chromium, zinc and copper. The basins of these rivers locate open mines - Teghout copper and molybdenum mine, Shamlukh copper mine (Debed River basin), Qajaran copper and molybdenum mine, Shahumyan gold-polymetallic mine (Voghji River basin), Agarak copper and molybdenum mine (Araks River basin). What about internal rivers, which are, in fact, tributaries to the transboundary rivers, their poor stat can be considered as irreversible. These rivers are Kartchevan, Artsvanik, Shnogh and Aghtala. Many rivers are characterized by the presence of vanadium, which is contained in the ore. The concentration of vanadium is increasing almost everywhere, even in Lake Sevan, and is already considered as background. What it means is unclear, as vanadium permanently present in the water shows there is permanent source of pollution.

One of the most polluted rivers in the Hrazdan River. The main pollutants are the dumps from Yerevan, which contain sewage, as well as dumps from numerous car cleaning stations or small enterprises dealing with the production of hazardous wastes almost at home. For example, the production of mirrors, leather items, dry cleaning business, dye-house etc. This water contains high concentration of ammonium ions, phosphates, nitrates and nitrites, manganese and salt of heavy metals. Urban waste water polluted Goris, Pambak and Akhuryan rivers up to category 5.

Note: Switzerland considered the project of additional cleaning Rein River water (earlier cleaned from the wastes of chemical industry). The cost of the project was 1.2 billion Swiss francs and the project was rejected.

15:59 June 06, 2016

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