Round Table Dedicated to the Kura-Araks Rivers Protection Day
The Country Water Partnership Armenia NGO with its partners partners "Sustainable Water Environment" and "Ecoclub Lore" NGOs and with the support of the Environmental Information Center of Stepanavan, organized a round table dedicated to the Kura-Araks rivers protection day in Stepanavan.
The round table was attended by representatives of the Municipality, rescue service, epidemiological surveillance center, educational institutions and NGOs of the city. The topic of discussion was pollution of water and land resources by mining industrial waste, and the disruption of ecosystems as a result of the construction of small HPPs.
Stepanavan city is located on the banks of the river Dzoraget, a tributary of the river Debed. It has always been distinguished for its rich nature, coniferous forests and sources of fresh, clean water, and has always been a resort town not only for Armenians but also for the residents of the neighboring countries. However, in recent years, as a result of large-scale felling of forests and development of the mining industry, the environment, water and land resources are polluted. In addition, the construction of small HPPs causes damage to aquatic ecosystems, because the water is often transported to the power station through pipes, leaving the river only a minimum ecological flow all year round. This amount of water is not sufficient for the reproduction of fish fauna of the rivers and for the preservation of its ecological balance. Roundtable participants believe that there is a serious regulation problem here and the requirements of water use permit issued to the HPPs are to be reviewed, especially in view of the revision of the minimum ecological flows in the river. Participants agreed to develop a proposal and submit it to the Water Resources Management Agency at the Ministry of Nature Protection, as well as to the Environmental Inspectorate.