Session of Board under the RA Minister of Nature Protection chaired by Minister Aramayis Grigoryan was held on March 25


The agenda included the following issues: optimal utilization of water resources, improved methods for ecological flows in the rivers in the republic, environmental problems arising during the exploitation of small hydroelectric power station and their solution, making amendments to GoA N1079-N decree (August 23, 2012) and N22-N decree (June 10, 2013) with the objective to adjust for Article 49 of the GoA Code on underground resources.

Hydraulic Engineer, Candidate of Technical Sciences (PhD) Knarik Hovhannisyan started to discuss the first issue of the board referring to the problems of the optimal utilization of water resources in the Republic of Armenia.

Coming to the necessity to improve the methods of ecologic flows in the rivers in the republic, the RA MNP Water Resource Management Agency head Lusine Taslakyan noted, that for the whole year as an ecological flow it is considered to think the average value of ten-day long minimum withdrawals in winter for many years observing hydraulic point in a riverside and the ecological flow value is the same for other months as well. River regimes are not considered according to the seasons, whereas it is necessary to consider not only hidroecological but hydromorphological, hydroforbiological and hydrocemical features as well for the accurate assessment of environmental flow. Besides, it requires information according to separate months and seasons instead of annual value.

Within the scope of USAID Clean Energy and Water project, a new improved method for estimating ecological flow has been developed; the privileges of the latter are the following:

• Ecologic flow is calculated according to months and seasons

• Regime of river flow is considered

• Ecosystem situation of water and water environment is included

After the comparative discussion of methods, the RA MNP Deputy Head of Water Resource Management Agency was assigned to review thoroughly the issue of development of improved methods on environmental flows in the rivers in order to find optimum solution.

Touching upon environmental issues arising during operation of SHPPs and their solutions, Head of the RA MNP State Environmental Inspectorate Hakob Galstyan stated, that inspections realized at 52 SHPPs (2014-2015) and research about 87 SHPPs highlight the problems which arise during the construction and exploitation and package of proposals to deal with them. It is envisaged to develop program of events for each SHPP directed to combating environmental challenges, the schedule and monitor the procedures.

• Introduce the system of granting “SHPP environmental passport” and “SHPP environmental green Passport” (their criterias ans format must be decided as a result of discussions paing special attention to the implementation of SHPPs environmental requirements) in the RA Ministry of Nature Protection.

• Review the amount of water abstraction permissions taking into consideration water necessity of users of the specific river system.

• Prioritize environmental flow, measurements of water amount and introduction of maintenance of automatic control systems.

In addition, alongside the reconstruction plan of SHPPs, the board members proposed the MNP Water Resource Management Agency to develop and present drafts of legal acts regulating construction of SHPPs in rivers .

Summing up RA Minister of Nature Protection chaired by Minister Aramayis Grigoryan thanked the board members for their active participation, attention towards raised problems hoping to reach the best solution for the problems.