HY RU EN

Kristine Aghalaryan

Yerevan's Prime Source of Water Faces Mining Threat

Ruben Hadoyan, a doctoral student in the field of geo-mining, says he believes the words of his elders stating that wars in the future will be fought over water.

"Governments will wage war over water, not gold or diamonds, since there can be no life without water," Hadoyan argues.

The young hydro-geologist pointed to the Kapoutan village in Kotayk Marz to underline the necessity of water. There are some forty springs in the area where a mining operation is in the works.

The area is a prime source of the cold, clear and delicious water that Yerevan residents enjoy and often take for granted.

The mine threatens the existence of the underground aquifers and Yerevan might one day wake up to dry faucets and no water in the fountains that dot the city.

According to Ruben's information, the Chinese will be launching mining operations in Kapoutan.

"There is no organization willing to spend the huge sums necessary to protect the water resources in the area. And I cannot imagine how they will operate a mine without impairing the water supply," said Ruben.

Studies of the iron reserves at Kapoutan were made back in the 1970s and showed that the ore was of high quality.

Mr. Hadoyan says the matter necessitates a scientific approach by the government towards the utilization of Armenia's natural resources but that such a strategy is lacking and that private concerns are exploiting the nation's wealth as they wish.

"In the future, such supplies of drinking water will be in short supply and sold at a high premium," he said.