Armenian government to double use of irrigation water from Lake Sevan
YEREVAN, June 19, /ARKA/. The Armenian government will nearly double the use of water fr om the ecologically vital Lake Sevan for irrigation purposes this year to compensate shortage of water in reservoirs, Adibek Ghazarian, head of an office overseeing implementation of projects of the Water Committee, told a news conference today.
An Armenian law on Sevan lim its the annual volume of water taken from lake Sevan for irrigation purposes at 170 million cubic meters. Last week the government approved a package of draft amendments to the law which would raise that ceiling to 320 million cubic meters. Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian cited the need to offset a significant drop in summer precipitation.
"For irrigation purposes we need 1.1 billion cubic meters of water. This year we need additional 150 million cubic meters to take from Lake Sevan," Ghazarian said.
"Every effort is being made to save farmers form irrigation water shortage and they will receive as much water as they need. But at the same time, we will fight against the wasteful use of water," Ghazarian said.
Lake Sevan is one of the largest alpine lakes in Europe and Asia, located in the heart of the Armenian plateau at an altitude of 1914 meters. The lake is the main source of fresh water in the region. Its level has soared by at least three meters over the past decade thanks to two underground tunnels pumping water from mountain rivers. -0-