The fisheries in Ararat Valley use 50% of the total volume of groundwater resources –809 million cubic meters. The remaining water distribution is carried out in the following manner – 36% - 581 million cum/ton goes to irrigation, 12% - 193 million cum/ton goes to drinking and household purposes, including the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant and only 2% - 25 million cum/ton is used for industrial purposes: all these data are submitted in the Advanced Science and Partnerships for Integrated Resource Development Project (ASPIRED) implemented with the USAID support in 2016.
According to the studies, groundwater abstraction still exceeds by 45% the sustainable rate of groundwater abstraction stipulated by the National Water Program Law in 2015 – 1.1 billion cum/annually.
Annual loss of 35 cum occurs from non-operated groundwater wells. Mainly groundwater is used through groundwater wells. As of 2016, 63% of the existing groundwater wells were operational, while 37% were not used. The number of not used, including those with leakage was 128. The total discharge of these wells is 1,096.4 liters/second or 34.6 MCM/year.
Consequences of Resource Overexploitation
Water yield of more than 300 artesian wells have decreased by up to approximately 10 times (from 6,118.6 liters per second to 606.4 liters/second). Furthermore, more than 205 wells have lost self-emission capacity due to reduced ground water pressure.
The safe operation of Metsamor Nuclear Power Plant is endangered
“According to initial data of inventory of natural springs, groundwater wells and fish farms in the Ararat Valley that is currently being conducted within the framework of the ASPIRED Project, discharge of the selected springs’ groups has stopped. Among those are the groups of natural springs of the Sevjur (Metsamor) river headwaters, Aknalich, Kulubeklu, Taronik (Zeiva) and springs used for the water supply of the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant (ANPP). New groundwater wells have been drilled since 2013 to provide supplemental water for the ANPP, about Aknalitch till 2000 the lake surface was 10 ha, the natural yield of the lake was up to 3000 l/sec. As of September-October 2016, the surface of Aknalitch made up to 1.5 ha, i.e. it has been reduced by 10 coefficients,” Project Specialist Lilit Harutyunyan mentioned. Three new groundwater wells have been drilled since 2013 to provide supplemental water for the ANPP, and the ANNP plans drilling ten new wells for securing its operational water demands by 2017.
Armenia’s water resources, especially those in the Ararat Valley – the country’s largest repository of high-quality groundwater reserves – are threatened by additional sources of pressure, with the most important being climate change and intensive human activities. In the meantime, the annual precipitation is projected to decrease by 11% in 2030, which will result in 25% reduction in river flow
23:15 November 10, 2016