Thursday, August 23 2018 13:18
Alexandr Avanesov

Minister: Armenia has a catastrophic situation with fish stocks in  the country`s rivers

Minister: Armenia has a catastrophic situation with fish stocks in  the country`s rivers

ArmInfo. Numerous small hydroelectric power plants of Armenia cause serious damage to the country's ecology, as a result of which the situation with fish  stocks in rivers has become simply catastrophic. This was announced  by the Minister of Nature Protection Erik Grigoryan at the meeting of  the government on August 23, presenting the draft amendments to the  RA Water Code.

According to the minister, as a result of the uncontrolled activity  of small hydropower stations, the fish population in the water  reservoirs of the republic has sharply decreased. The bill proposes  to prohibit the granting of permits for the construction of new small  hydroelectric power stations, if their construction is planned on  water bodies with fish listed in the Red Book. Also, a ban on the  construction of small HPPs will be introduced if the load of  diversion pipelines is more than 40%, and also in the absence of  water volume measurement points. In addition, in the absence of a  management plan for water basins, the permitting period for the use  of small hydropower stations cannot exceed 5 years. In order to  produce electricity, if there is a water management plan, the permit  for water releases is given for a period of 1 year, but in case of  obtaining a construction license, it can automatically be considered  extended, but for a period not exceeding 20 years.

The government approved a draft law, which in due course will be sent  to the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia.

Nevertheless, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan urged the responsible  persons to develop a "road map" to address the problems associated  with inefficient use of water resources. He also demanded to  strengthen control over the legality in the sphere of ecology, and to  approach the issue resolutely.

Earlier in an interview with the correspondent. ArmInfo famous in the  country specialist on water resources Knarik Hovhannisyan stated that  due to the extensive construction of small hydropower stations in  Armenia on the waterways of the republic, the ecological state of  water systems deteriorated sharply. This is due to the violation of  the regime of environmental releases, which hinder the conservation  of biodiversity of aquatic ecosystems. Among other factors of the  disturbance of normal activity of natural ecosystems, the expert  considers frequent excess of the established water withdrawal limits,  violation of the norms of construction and operation of hydraulic  structures.

99% of operating in the country MHPPs are built on attracted  financial resources. At one time, international structures provided  relatively cheap credit resources, to which Armenian entrepreneurs  built more than half of small hydro power plants on the basis of  already used equipment. In a terrible state there are pipes on the  hydroelectric power station, which are obsolete, and their quality  leaves much to be desired. To date, 178 small hydropower plants  operate in Armenia, the total installed capacity of which is about  328 MW, production is about 957 kWh. According to the licenses  granted, in the process of construction there are 39 small HPPs with  a total design capacity of 75 MW and an annual output of 260 million  kWh.  

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