Friday, June 23 2017 14:42
Naira Badalian

On July 4 Armenian parliament to discuss an increase in water flow from Lake Sevan

On July 4 Armenian parliament to discuss an increase in water flow  from Lake Sevan

ArmInfo. The Armenian government  plans to increase the volume of water release from Sevan to 270  million cubic meters. The issue will be discussed at an extraordinary  meeting of the National Assembly on July 4 at 10.00.

In particular, the agenda will include a draft on introducing changes  to the comprehensive program of measures for the current year related  to the protection, restoration, reproduction, natural development and  use of the ecosystems of Lake Sevan. Arsen Harutyunyan, Chairman of  the State Water Management Committee of Armenia at today's meeting,  made the corresponding proposal. Referring to the relevant provision  of the program, Harutyunyan recalled that it allows increasing the  water intake from Sevan from the previously approved rate of 170  million cubic meters, another 100 million cubic meters, in connection  with the acute economic need and emergency situations.

Minister of Nature Protection Artsvik Minnasyan reacted to the  suggestion. He requested from the prime minister a couple of days to  study the proposal, and Karen Karapetyan answered very sharply: "No,  during the pre-sittings and committees you already had such an  opportunity." We said that we should stop this practice." As a  result, it was decided to convene an extraordinary session of the  parliament, at which it is planned to discuss the draft. Previously,  the Ministry of Nature Protection of Armenia opposed the proposal to  increase the water intake from Sevan from the previously approved  rate of 170 million cubic meters to 1 billion cubic meters in the  next 3 years, for the development of hydropower and agriculture. As  the head of the department Artsvik Minasyan stated, from Lake Sevan  it is impossible to produce more water, even for energy purposes.  "The Ministry considers Sevan a strategic water resource, the value  of which is even higher than the possible benefits from additional  electricity and crops. We are ready for discussions, but we need to  see a more detailed justification for this," he said.

In addition, according to experts, a decrease in the water level in  Sevan will lead to irreversible consequences. Bardugh Gabrielyan,  director of the Scientific Center for Animal Husbandry and  Hydroecology at the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of  Armenia, said that this will lead to increased water logging in the  lake.

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