www.1in.am, Narek Khachatryan
After the break of one or two years, the Armenian Government once again requested the National Assembly to give agreement to amend RA Law 'On Approving Annual and Complex Programs for Recovery, Conservation, Reproduction and Use of Lake Sevan Ecosystem' and to add annual water intake amount from 170 million cum to 270 million cum.
At the meeting, Arsen Harutyunyan didn't give any exhaustive reply to any question raised, which was the result of not possessing the situation and information. Each centimeter in the lake level rise means an accumulation of 13 million cum water. Water intake of over 100 million cum means the reduction of the level by almost 8 cm, while a level increase by 6 meters means an accumulation of 8 billion cum water.
In order to thoroughly understand the situation in this sector, it should be mentioned that maximum 1 billion 50 million cum water can be collected in all 80 reservoirs existing in the country nowadays, out of which half of the water collected in Akhuryan reservoir, 275 million cum, is the share of the Turks. Factually, we can annually accumulate maximum 875 million cum water out of Lake Sevan. The simplest estimates show that at least 600 reservoirs shall be constructed to accumulate 8 billion cum water, and around US $ 20-24 billion will be required for this, which is practically impossible in our case (the least estimates show that the cost unit of 1 cum water collected in the artificial reservoir makes up US $ 2-2.5), whereas the accumulation of such amount of water with the increase in Lake Sevan level doesn't require any expenses. Moreover, it will recover and revive Lake Sevan and we will have another strategic resource of 8 billion cum water, especially when under the conditions of global warming the temperature in Armenia will increase by 2 degrees by 2030. It means that precipitation will decrease by 17% and evaporation will increase by 22%.
It shows that already now we are going to experience serious problems with the water reserves, and it's going to be worse tomorrow, especially when we can't raise funds to repair 500-600-meter long section of Arpa-Sevan damaged tunnel and to ensure the capacity of 25 cum/s. The current tunnel can run only half of the annually envisaged 280 million cum. Instead of statutory stipulated annual increase of the lake level by 21-22 cm, we manage to ensure barely 5-6 cm increase. If the lake decreases this year by 8 cm, it will turn out that we will have a lake level decrease by at least 2 cm as compared with the last year.
It was only 5-6 years ago that the chairman of Sevan Committee Vladimir Movsisyan, which was established with President Serzh Sargsyan's assignment, after thorough examinations said, 'Unfortunately, 48-50% of the water let out of Lake Sevan for irrigation purposes get lost in the worn-out irrigation networks.' The same figures were confirmed by Deputy Chairman of State Committee on Water Industry Volodya Narimanyan in 2016 when he said that almost 800-900 liters per 2 cum water are gone.
The amount of losses is increasing year by year, although several hundred million dollars have been introduced into this system ever these years, moreover, its destruction proceeds at higher rates. And it's the truth because large sums of money circulate in this system and hydrospecialists have nothing to do there. Old personnel have long been sacked, but they claim the significant part of the water losses has been the result of applying incorrect techniques.
'There are mainly technical losses in Ararat Valley; naturally, there are natural losses mainly because of water distribution. Frequently, water plants develop so much in the canals that losses in the canal make up 50-60%. One of the main problems is correct operation and development. Currently, 1.5-1.7 billion cum water is used in the Republic for irrigation purposes, out of which the half merely gets lost. If to add, that annually 1-1.3 billion cum water is arbitrarily due to 'developing' fish breeding, it will be clear how vandally affairs are run generally in Armenia. Really, almost no investment is done on the preservation and recovery of an inter-household network, despite round sums of money are available in the budget lines in the reports. The system is in a completely derelict state, while WUC directors have several cars at their disposal, several assistants, and personal guards. When such a bad behavior is available, the National Assembly again votes in favor of additional water outlet out of Lake Sevan.'
15:24 July 07, 2017