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.