On 27 June S.O.S. Sevan initiative members raised risks connected with the governmental bill on additional water intake of 100 million cum from Lake Sevan at the round table-press conference held at EcoLur Press Club. EcoLur Informational NGO President Inga Zarafyan mentioned that the bill doesn’t say anything about the impact of the bill on Lake Sevan, but energy efficiency is focused. ‘In 2001 a loan of US $ 30.8 million was taken from the World Bank to direct the Aras river water to solve the irrigation problems in Ararat Valley. What has happened with these 30.8 millions? If this project has really been accomplished successfully, then you take water from Lake Sevan for the same problem?’ Inga Zarafyan said. She mentioned that this project will be the beginning of the Armenian Government's intention to let out 1 billion m3 additional water from Lake Sevan within three years. 'In case of 1 billion m3 water outlet from Lake Sevan, the additional production of electricity in Sevan-Hrazdan cascade HPPs will make up around 1.7-1.85 billion kW/h,' this is the reply of RA Ministry for Emergency Infrastructures and Natural Resources to Gegharkounik-based 'Blejan' NGO President Lianna Asoyan, who mentioned that RA Nature Protection Ministry has issued a negative opinion, which is the first case over recent 10 years. 'In our area we also experience problems with irrigation water, but we don't take water from Lake Sevan for irrigation,' Lianna Asoyan said. Satik Badeyan, a member of Gegharkounik-based 'Territorial Development and Research Center' NGO, said, 'I would like to present whatever fishermen told me that over recent 10 years it's the first time this year they pull nets out of the lake without any garbage and eventually they can feel that water has cleaned. Lake level directly affects water quality. Now we are factually preserving Lake Sevan as simply a resources and we want to use its water for energetic purposes arbitrarily. In case of any decrease in Lake Sevan, lake waterlogging processes will get activated.' Karine Danielyan, President of 'Association for Sustainable Human Development' NGO, 'I'm a member of Sevan Committee adjunct to RA President and we haven't discussed this matter at the committee: I'm demanding hearings at National Assembly and our opinion shall be taken into consideration. 170 million is not just a number. Still in the Soviet period all institutes worked for Lake Sevan to increase its level, and now hitting Sevan is simply a sacrilege.' 'Forests of Armenia' NGO Director Nazeli Vardanyan, 'All our troubles derive from our PM's words that nature should be capitalized. Everything has already been capitalized and privatized: the last sacred things in nature have remained: Sevan, Jermuk mineral waters etc. It's not a coincidence that there has been a struggle for many years to decrease Sevan level, why this struggle continues, because huge amounts of money have been invested and illegal site developments have been carried out on the shore of Lake Sevan. In order not to destroy their properties they will do their best not to increase Lake Sevan level.' Gagik Sukhudyan, author of Sevan National Park Project, 'Sevan National Park concept has eliminated. National parks don't have privatized land areas and ther is 240 km of site development there: Do you know who owns these castles? People who will vote for the decrease in Lake Sevan on 4 June. Arpa-Sevan shall bring annually 250 million m3 water into Lake Sevan, but this water flows to Nakhijevan through Arpa, where a reservoir with a capacity of 1 billion 200 million has been built. Vorotan has been privatized. No owner will give 25% of its capacities to Sevan. Clean 250 million m3 of water in Arpa and give drinking water to the Middle Eastern countries and Arabic countries to continue increasing Lake Sevan. Water will flow by itself – without any pumping stations, just gravity flowing. In this way, we agree then we will sell the water and will invest money to Sevan Foundation.' Silva Adamyan, Coordinator of Public Environmental Alliance, '50 organizations of Public Environmental Alliance join S.O.S Sevan initiative and will do their most, whatever possible and impossible to give a positive solution to this problem...What about the bird world in Sevan, I would like to outline that we have a positive trend.' Expert Seyran Minasyan, '…The bill says this law enters into force next day of official publication and is valid till the exhaustion of extrabudgetary means. What does it mean? Extrabudgetary means may not get finished – 1 AMD may remain forever... Their statement on the factual increase of Lake Sevan water level of 4.59 meters is an obious official falsification. This figure includes the 20 cm of the correction calculated over the level of the Baltic Sea made in 2011 and, secondly, the data on the highest level available in June 2017 were compared with the lowest level of the lake in 2001, which is a methodological gross mistake and leads to an artificially high indicator of the lake level by several dozens of centimeters. In reality, the lake level increased in 2001-2017 by 3.94 meters, as of 1 January 2017. Consequently, the water volume in the level has increased only by 5.12 million cum, and not 6 billion cum. ...They convinced everybody that the lake increase is progressing at advanced rates. No, the advanced rate of increase limit was exhausted last year. This year its indicator will fall back by 15-20 cm, if they adopt this decision and decrease the level of Lake Sevan. Seyran Minasyan also presented the problem of current water losses in the system of the State Committee on Water Industry. '...Since 1978 the normative loss in the fast-flowing section of Sevan-Hrazdan cascade should have been 7%, but now they have found out this figure is not 7%, but 18%. It turns out in this fast-flowing section annually 42.7 million m3 water is lost every year starting from 1978, and we have over 200 million m3 water loss over the recent 5 years only. According to the Supervisory Chamber's data, irrigation losses made up 44.8% and 45.5% in 2013 and 2013, respectively, before villagers get water. These losses accounts for 100 millions m3. Improvement of only 10-15% will make Sevan free of this trouble forever. The water losses of the water intake by Sevan-Hrazdan CJSC made up in 176 million m3 in 2013 and 206 million m3 in 2014. ' As a result of discussions, S.O.S Sevan initiative addressed letters to RA President Serzh Sargsyan and RA National Assembly Speaker Ara Babloyan with a demand to reject this bill.
20:04 June 29, 2017