22 arch is a World Water Day. The world has been celebrating it since 1993 and is beating an alarm signal: the water is turning into a deficit natural resource. The consumption of freshwater takes place twice faster than the growth of the population on the planet. Water is not sufficient for 2 billion people.
This day should be a holiday in Armenia, as our country possesses freshwater reserves with high taste qualities.
Nevertheless, the holiday doesn’t occur: water not polluted with wastes, household and industrial wastes is left less and less. If to refer to the data provided by the Center for Monitoring of Environmental Impact (January 2016), in 12 samples out of 23 taken from 8 rivers and Yerevan Like the analysis showed pollution of class 4 and 5. That is, over half of the marked water areas are polluted to non-satisfactory or poor state.
This sad list doesn’t include the rivers polluted with the wastes of open pits, such as Akhtala, Voghji, Shnogh, Masrik and Sotq, Kartchevan, Debed, Meghradzor etc. Most probably, there is no sense to carry out any monitoring in these rivers, as their pollution only increases because of toxic compounds and metals accumulated in the bottom sediments and they can’t decrease the pollution of class 5 in any way.
The rivers are left without water because of drought and poor management and overexploitation. The World Bank had good intentions to introduce somebody’s practice and to establish an association of water users so that people pay for the water and save it. Nevertheless, as a result the farmers received dragons, who make money on the irrigation water and turn the farmers into miserable petitioners.
The fish farms destroyed the underground springs of Ararat Valley. It’s a great question whether this fragile water ecosystem will be able to recover. And now the land owners are seeking to solve their problems at the expense of neighboring regions, where the situation with water is also poor, like in case of Qaghtsrashen irrigation project. Energy is a sector, which is in the last row in the list of potential water users, nevertheless, it takes water and leaves drying rivers under the pipes of HPPs and SHPPs.
Lake Sevan is an individual story, where problems replace each other like a spiral: problems with outlets, problems with site development, problems with shore cleaning, problems with plastic garbage, problems with fish farms directly in the lake, problems with open pits etc etc.
And we ask the question whether water really has memory and will say farewell to us at any moment. And then we will mark the water day with late memories.
The material is prepared by 'EcoLur' Informational NGO under “Armenia’s First Biennial Update Report to the UNFCCC” UNDP-GEF/00079327” project.
The views expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the United Nations, including UNDP, or the UN Member States.
12:21 March 22, 2016