YEREVAN, April 23. / ARKA /. Armenian president Serzh Sargsyan warned today against speculation over Lake Sevan when addressing the annual meeting of the National Academy of Sciences of Armenia.
"Of course, we have to think about future generations. Of course, our main concern should be the development of our country without harming its environment, but we can not speculate over this issue, " he said in a comment on a speech made by Ruben Jrbashyan, an advisor to the head of the Institute of Geology of the National Academy of Sciences, who argued against a government decision to increase the release of water from the lake for irrigation purposes.
The president noted that the resources should be used carefully, taking into account the interests of future generations and without harming the environment.
Sargsyan recalled the Law on Lake Sevan adopted by the National Assembly that calls for annual increase in the lake’s level. He said the level of the lake is increasing at a faster rate than projected by the law.
In January the government approved a set of amendments to the “Law on restoration and protection of Lake Sevan’s ecosystem," permitting thereby to increase the volume of water pumped out from the lake for irrigation purposes until 2019 from the current 170 million to 240 million cubic meters per year.
Lake Sevan, one of the largest alpine lakes in Europe and Asia, is located in the heart of the Armenian plateau, at an altitude of 1,914 meters. The lake stretches over 70 kilometers from northwest to southeast. Its water surface area is nearly 1500 square kilometers. The lake is the main source of drinking water in the region. -0-