Coastal area may get swamped if discharges increase from Sevan – expert

Coastal area may get swamped if discharges increase from Sevan – expert

YEREVAN, August 22. /ARKA/. Increasing discharges from Sevan Lake from 170 to 240 million cubic meters per year may lead to mire formation in coastal areas, ecologist Gagik Sukhudyan said.

On January 30, 2014, Armenia’s government approved the amendments to the Sevan law about increasing the discharges from Sevan for irrigation to 240 cubic meters. This limit will have to be reconsidered every year. By 2019 a number of ponds and reservoirs are to be constructed to ensure collection of water for irrigation and to prevent increased discharges from the lake.

“We believe Sevan is a natural reservoir for us to take water from for irrigation, but in fact it is a living organism responding to outside interference quickly”, the ecologist said.

According to the expert, the Sevan status improved a bit in 2012, but will now be back to 2010-2011 situation when there was no chance to approach the water without being stuck in weeds across the coastal area.

Fifty various organizations have worked over the law about Sevan that envisages to raise the level to 1,903.5 meters, the ecologist said.

Sukhudyan also stressed that, according to official reports, 40% of irrigation water is lost due to aged canals.

“That is how the issue should be solved and not at the expense of Sevan”, the expert said.
 
The captain of “Kilikia” sailboat Karen Balayan said fish farms use huge water volumes, but could recycle water instead.

“We are not nomads to consume whatever we find of resources and leave; we should use natural resources in a reasonable way”, the captain said.

According to Balayan, transparency at the lake reached 15 meters in some places in 2012, but will drop after discharges are increased.

Sevan is one of the largest mountainous lakes in Europe and Asia. It sits in the middle of Armenian Highland at an altitude of 1914 meters and is the main sources of drinking water in the region. –0--

14:24 22.08.2014

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