November 21
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Now the law establishes the permissible maximum water withdrawal from Lake Sevan in the amount of 170 million cubic meters, said My Step ruling bloc MP Varazdat Karapetyan.

However, according to him, since 2012, after amending the law on Lake Sevan, the Government almost every year appealed to the National Assembly with a proposal to increase the volume of water intake, while the law itself provided for an increase in the volume of water intake to 350 million cubic meters.

"We propose that the upper limit of water withdrawal from Lake Sevan be 170 million cubic meters, and no additional proposals from the Government on a new water withdrawal should be submitted to the National Assembly, especially if it is likely that we will have a negative balance compared to last year," he noted adding that Lake Sevan cannot be considered only as a “reservoir”, due to which in case of unforeseen situations it is possible to carry out additional water withdrawal.

“The government should clearly know that the water intake is set at 170 million cubic meters and that’s all, regardless of whether the year is favorable for agriculture or not,” the deputy noted.

Varazdat Karapetyan also said now the level of Sevan is about 5 centimeters higher than in the same period last year.

He said they have certain calculations, and, based on them, it becomes obvious that some sections of roads adjacent to Lake Sevan, due to an increase in its level, will go under water. 

In addition, as the deputy noted, many public buildings will also undergo a transfer, as they may suffer due to rising water levels in the lake.

However, despite all these statements, the deputy noted that the Government will still have a chance to appeal to the National Assembly with a statement and a request to allow additional water withdrawal, but only in case of severe drought. As a result, the meaning of the adoption of amendments remained incomprehensible, since the executive branch always motivated the need for additional water intake by drought.

The head of the Water Resources Committee of Armenia Vardan Melkonyan expressed some concern in connection with this bill. According to him, only evaporation of water in the lake is 1 billion 200 million cubic meters per year, and it is expected to set the allowable water intake at 170 million cubic meters per year, which, according to the official, is insufficient to meet the needs of agriculture.

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