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It is proposed to set annual maximum volume of water release from Lake Sevan up to 240 million cubic meters
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It is proposed to increase the amount of water intake from Lake Sevan from 170 million cubic meters to 240 million cubic meters conditioned by the weather conditions of the year, the fullness of water basins and reservoirs and the main indicators of water supply of rivers. The RA Deputy Minister of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure Vache Terteryan stated this presenting the draft law on Making Addenda to law on Approving the Annual and Complex Plans for Restoration, Protection, Reproduction and Use of Lake Sevan Ecosystem at the NA extraordinary session on July 11.

The draft, as required by law, defines the procedure and directions for the consumption of electricity produced due to the release of additional water. Vache Terteryan informed that regular and public reports were presented regarding the situation.

In response to the questions of the deputies Sergey Bagratyan, Gevorg Papoyan, Lilit Stepanyan, Hovik Aghazaryan, Artsvik Minasyan, Vache Terteryan clarified that this year water intake from Sevan started on May 14, and last year on June 3, that is, the process began about half a month earlier. Presenting the indicators of water intake from Sevan, the Deputy Minister said that until today 82.3 million cubic meters were taken from Sevan, 81.38 million cubic meters were transferred to Sevan through the hydrotechnical system of Arpa-Sevan tunnel. “The same indicator in 2022 was 148 million cubic meters. This proves that we really have a serious shortage of water this year,” Vache Terteryan said.

“As of today, we have 1956 cm, that is, after May 14, the level of Sevan rose by 13 cm. This is in the case when the water taken for our irrigation and the water transported through Arpa-Sevan are almost equivalent”, the Deputy Minister recorded.

The deputy Artsvik Minasyan opined that there was a possibility of additional water intake according to the 2019 regulations, but according to the 2019 law, water release would be excluded if the balance is negative. “Now you, violating the law you adopted, announce something else,” he said. Gevorg Papoyan added in his turn. “We can refuse, there is no problem, but if the amount of water runs out, say, on August 5, what will we answer to hundreds of thousands of our citizens of Armavir and Ararat regions? 600.000 people live there for that water,” the representative of the Civil Contract Faction said noting that the change is made to have the opportunity to take more than 170 million cubic meters of water. Gegham Nazaryan also opined that a proposal inconsistent with the law was presented and called on his colleagues to reject it. Zaruhi Batoyan spoke about the expediency of having both complex and annual programmes in case of Lake Sevan. According to Artur Khachatryan’s assessment, the justifications are not clear, significant statistical data regarding annual precipitation, annual average temperature, release of water before the start of irrigation and other sectoral problems were not presented. Arman Yeghoyan inquired whether, in case of the construction of reservoirs, it is possible to have a clear amount of water intake from Sevan or there is no need for it.

Presenting the viewpoint of Armenia Faction, Artsvik Minasyan mentioned that the solution to the problem is not taking additional water from Sevan.

In his final speech, the Deputy Minister Vache Terteryan presented clarifications on a number of issues. According to the Deputy Minister, the long-term solution to the problem should be a conceptual change in water use.

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