ArmInfo. "And where is the logic?" - asked the head of the Armenian government Karen Karapetyan, having learned that 40% of the population of Armenia remain outside the coverage zone of a single water supply operator. Karen Karapetyan visited the State Committee for Water Resources of the Ministry of Agriculture of Armenia on April 28, where he got acquainted with the ongoing reforms in the field and forthcoming programs of the department, the press service of the executive body of Armenia reports.
The State Committee reported to the premier that despite the lease agreement signed in November 2016 with the new, unified operator of the water supply and sanitation sector of Armenia, Veolie, about 560 communities of the country still remain outside the water supply system. Thus, according to the head of the government, to this day 40% of the country's population is still outside the service area of a single water operator. "Why did you do this at the conclusion of the agreement? What is the logic? It should not be so - half the country's communities are outside the system," the Prime Minister said.
Earlier ArmInfo reported that a 15-year lease agreement would be signed with a new single operator of water supply and sanitation of Armenia in mid November. The new operator of water supply - the sole operator throughout the republic with a single tariff - will launch activities on January 1, 2017. The new single water operator will take management of the current five operators: "Yerevan Djur", "Armwatercanal", "Shirak Water Canal", "Lori Water Canal" and "Nor Akunq". The lease agreement will also specify the basic tariffs for 15 years. The basic tariff for the 1st year will be set based on the costs of retail supplies in water system and disposal of sewage. Starting from the 2nd year the tariff will be corrected with due regard for a number of factors: change of electricity tariff and amount of retail supplies, as well as inflation. The tariffs will be revised no more often than once a year.Within 15 years, Veolia Environment SA, which has been chosen following the international tender, is to pay a lease fee of nearly 89 bln AMD (about $190 mln) to the government. Within the next 15 years, the new operator will invest 37.5 bln AMD (about $80 mln) in modernization of water supply and sewerage networks. The State Water Committee has told ArmInfo that the investments will be mostly spent on the repair of water supply network in the remote settlements. So far the five operators in Armenia have served 410-420 settlements - large cities and rural communities. Nearly 570 communities were outside the "coverage" of the companies. According to the State Committee, today one of the key tasks is to include those communities in the "coverage area" of the single water supply operator.