Recovery of Armenia’s Lake Sevan should not be interrupted – ecologist

Recovery of Armenia’s Lake Sevan should not be interrupted – ecologist

YEREVAN, February 19. /ARKA/.  Lake Sevan is on its way to recovery, and the process should not be stopped, head of Association for Sustainable Human Development, former minister of environment of Armenia Karine Danielyan said at a discussion on effects of discharge from Sevan Tuesday.

Studies conducted two years ago showed the lake has a self-purification ability, and increase in water level of several centimeters only led to significant improvement in quality in the center of the lake, she said.

Reduction of water level in the lake will have negative effects, she said in commenting the government-approved bill about increasing discharges to up to 240 million cubic meters per year.

On January 30, the government backed the bill about protection of Sevan ecosystem envisaging increase of discharge from the current 170 million to 240 million cubic meters per year.

The ecologist noted the studies were carried out after UNEP turned onto the status of the lake. She also said negotiations are under way to include the lake in the UNESCO world heritage list.

Danielyan has also pinpointed the problem of small hydro power plants built on rivers falling into the lake. These plants prevent water from flowing to the lake, she said.

The head of bioresource management at Armenia’s ministry of environment Artashes Ziroyan, in his turn, said the ministry’s efforts aimed at protection, recovery and stable development of the lake are successful and the water level rises by 28-30 centimeters every year, as compared to 20 centimeters required by the law.

He said it is important to maintain positive dynamics even under the condition of increased discharges from the lake. Repairs in Arpa-Sevan water tunnel will ensure stable increase of water level in the lake by more than 20 centimeters per year, he said.

Ziroyan stressed the importance of solving irrigation problems in Ararat, Kotayk and other provinces to avoid discharges from the lake. –0--

13:28 19.02.2014

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