Speakers at a conclave in Yerevan, assembling noted experts and citizens alike, sounded a dire warning about the largest underground aquifer in Armenia located in the country’s largest agricultural zone, the Ararat Valley.
Today’s discussion, held at the Yerevan Radisson Blue Hotel, was organized by several organizations – the Urban Sustainable Development Foundation, the National Water Cooperation NGO, and the Ecological Rights Scientific-Research Center of Yerevan State University.
Attending the debate were U.S. Ambassador to Armenia Richard Mills, U.S. Agency for International Development (AID) Mission Director to Armenia Deborah Grieser, Armenian Minister of Nature Protection Artzvik Minasyan, Armenian Provincial Administration and Development Deputy Minister Vache Terteryan, and Armenian Agriculture Deputy Director Armen Haroutyunyan.
The main issue on the table was the inefficient management of Armenia’s water resources and its consequences.
The Ararat Valley aquifer spans some 1,300 square kilometers. However, many local communities lack potable and irrigation water due to poor resource management.
Mounting pressure to further tap into the aquifer stems from climate change and the growing number of permits issued to fish farms in the area.
At the meeting, the launch of the IAD’s three-year project, “The Participatory and Efficient Use of Water Resources”, was announced to the public.
The project seeks to more effectively use the Ararat Valley water resources by raising the level of awareness and involvement of residents and businesses in the issue and in future related activities.