YEREVAN, May 31. / ARKA /. Armenia’s nature protection minister Aramayis Grigoryan said the volume of water used by fish farms should be cut in half.
Speaking at a parliament discussion on 2013 budget execution, he said most of fish farms are concentrated in the Ararat Valley, using water from artesian wells.
A recent USAID-funded study, managed by Clean Energy and Water Program (CEWP), has revealed that over the last 6-8 years, the level of groundwater resources in the Ararat Valley that has the bulk of fish farms, has significantly decreased, leaving over 30 communities without reliable access to potable and/or irrigation water.
Last year the government gave 18 months to all fish farms in the country to shift to semi-closed water recycling system, whereby some 70 % of the water is used several times thus contributing to its more efficient use and reduction of costs.
The transition suggests installment of expensive new technology, the price of which, depending on the size of farms, may range from 700,000 to 1.5 million euros.
According to the agriculture ministry, fish production last year rose by 2,800 metric tons to 11,600 tons. ($1- 405.29 drams). -0-