Government focuses on efficient use of underground water resources in Ararat Valley


A consultation was held in the Office of Government under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan to consider the findings of a recent probe into the fish breeding entrepreneurship’s compliance with the water resource management regulations in Ararat Valley and the activities directed to groundwater restoration.
A research on the preservation of the actual state of water resources in Ararat and Armavir Regions was reported to have been accomplished for 584 deep wells operated by 239 fish farms, of which 124 are currently functioning, 160 farms have a water use permit (for the water amount of 24207 l/s). During this year the actual rate of water intake from 584 deep wells was about 23,973 l/s; it was subsequently reduced to 22499 l/s by liquidating 18 wells that used to be run by 15 farms currently at standstill and conserving 3 wells. The actual amount of water used for fish breeding is around 21607 liters, or 681.4 million cubic meters per year. Out of 582 deep wells, 230 valves were sealed and registered; 115 wells were re-registered.
Since January 1, 2017, about 140 million cubic meters of underground water has been saved as a result of the removal, liquidation and conservation of deep wells.
During the consultation, reference was made to the draft law on “Making amendments to the Tax Code of the Republic of Armenia”, which provides that after taking stock of the actual volume of extracted water, the following fees and fines shall be applied from January 1, 2018: three times the established rate (0.5 drams per 1m3) for quantities exceeding the prescribed national water use permission standard and ten times as much again - for illegal water use.
If enforced, the amendment will result in additional 110 million drams paid to the State budget for the actual volume of water exceeding the prescribed quotas and 66 million drams for illegal water use. Premier Karen Karapetyan instructed to put the project into circulation.
The Head of Government considered it necessary to take further steps to improve the environmental state in Ararat Valley and provide for a more efficient use of water resources, in particular, by liquidating illegal deep wells and setting conservation valves.
Karen Karapetyan suggested allocating funds from the State budget for water meter installation activities. “We do not want to squeeze businesses, but we need to motivate the latter to use water efficiently”: the Prime Minister emphasized, adding that it is necessary to give clear solutions to all problems.
 The meeting also took a note of the draft amendments to the government decree on “Approving 2017-2022 Management Plan for Akhuryan Water Basin and priority measures for effective management.”