Lake Sevan. Photo by Armine Martirosyan for the Caucasian Knot

06 December 2019, 21:01

Ecologists voice skepticism about initiative to save Lake Sevan

A bill adopted by the Armenian parliament and restricting water withdrawal from Lake Sevan is inefficient, since it does not prohibit the use of large volumes of water from the lake, say ecologists interviewed by the "Caucasian Knot".

At the today's parliamentary meeting, MPs approved in the second and final reading the amendments to the law on approval of measures to restore and preserve the ecological system of Lake Sevan.

The bill involves setting the upper limit of water withdrawal from Lake Sevan to 170 million cubic meters and prohibiting water withdrawal in case of a negative lake balance.

Ecologist Inga Zarafyan, the head of the NGO "Ekolur", told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent that the bill approved today by the Armenian parliament was accepted with a provision, according to which, like earlier, it is possible, if necessary, to take water from Lake Sevan in volumes exceeding the maximum standard.

According to the ecologist, "officials often manipulate the data concerning Lake Sevan."

"For example, last year, despite the fact that a negative balance was registered in Lake Sevan, the parliament approved the government's bill on additional water withdrawal. During a very short period of time, the water level in Lake Sevan began to rise, and at the parliamentary hearing held those days, the Minister of Ecology announced that Lake Sevan supposedly showed a positive balance, while in the annual context, the lake balance was negative. Following the Minister's speech, they approved an additional water withdrawal," said Inga Zarafyan.

Ecologist Karine Danielyan, the president of the Association for Sustainable Human Development, believes that the constant fluctuations in the water level in Lake Sevan can provoke its destruction. "Reduction of the water level in Lake Sevan is unacceptable, since the lake is very sensitive to a negative balance," the ecologist told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on December 6, 2019 at 05:21 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Armine Martirosyan; Source: CK correspondent

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