There is a problem of increasing the efficiency of water resources management

15-01-2021

Prior to the launch of the new working year, Minister of Environment Romanos Petrosyan outlined the working directions that require utmost attention to the environment in 2021, including the issue of efficient changes in the water sector. The water sector must undergo radical reforms. The Minister held an extended working consultation with the heads of Department for licenses, permits and compliances, Water Policy Department, Strategic Policy Department, Coordinator of the sector, Deputy Minister  Tigran Simonyan, and the heads of 6 territorial water basin management divisions. 
Discussed the issue of accepting applications for water use permits, their assessment, extension, revision of the entire cancellation strategy, making amendments to the RA Water Code.
The existing amendments to the RA Water Code were frozen months ago, which were relaunched in the course of yesterday's meeting. The Ministry will come up with a package of new draft laws. The new water code must be comprehensive and in line with international standards.
A relevant working group will be established in a short period of time, addressed to revealing the existing legislative issues, thus proposing new legal regulations.
The Minister instructed the heads of the relevant territorial water basin management divisions and corresponding subdivisions  of the Ministry to inventory the problems, sort out the considerations and suggestions before sending the draft package to the government. All proposals should be in the context of overcoming the existing challenges, with scientific justification and balance the interests of environmental circles and entrepreneurs .
The meeting took a note of the programs targeted at the reforms of the water sphere, the steps to be assumed  and issues of certain structural changes.
Violations on water abstraction and ecological flows of HPPs were discussed; we must use the full potential of the rivers, strictly observing the environmental norms. Special reference was made to the catastrophic environmental situation in the gorge of Yeghegis River and the problem of inadmissible water scarcity in the river. Earlier, by the instruction of Minister Romanos Petrosyan, an interdepartmental working group was set up, which deals with the problems existing in the SHPPs located on Yeghegis River. The water use permits issued to 17 hydroelectric power plants located on Yeghegis River should be surveyed, the inconsistencies and inaccuracies in thereof should be revealed, the quantities defined by the water use permit should be reviewed and the volume of water abstraction actually done by SHPPs should be clarified.
Summing up the meeting, the Minister once again emphasized  that he attaches great importance to the coordinated work of the top management of the ministry, sectoral subdivisions  and subordinate subdivisions. "There should be a norm of responsibility, which will assist to solve the problems, to exclude their occurrence in the future. To date, there are certain phenomena are avoidable and rejected - from the issuance of water use permits to the water sector management. We must all act only for the sake of the Republic of Armenia and its citizens”. 

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