Armenia facing desertification threat, warn ecologists

14:43 - 31.08.13
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Armenia may face an ultimate desertification in case its water
resources continue to be used the way they are being used now, an
environmentalist has said, warning of simultaneous threats of

Speaking to reporters on Saturday, the environmentalist and ecologist
Galust Nanyan spoke particularly of the threats facing the fish
processing industries. He said the Ararat valley alone has 240 fish
processing units which use a total of 800 cubic meters of artesian

`Under the Law on Sevan, 170 million cubic meters of water can be
taken from the lake. The figure rises to 300-320 cubic meters every
four years before elections. Fish manufacturers have in different
periods dug up the pits to develop their economies, but we are losing
the water basin,' he said.

Nanyan added that almost all the villages near Echmiadzin (Armavir
region) had 50-80 artesian pits dug up in the past, though 70% of them
have now gone dry.

`People have started even using surface and ground waters. That was
normal about ten years ago, but the ground waters too, have now gone
dry,' he said.

Ashot Khoyetsyan, a geographer and ecologist also attending the news
conference, said ground waters are now used from tens and thousands of
pits that have been dug up without any permission.

`Anyone has dug them on his own territory, without having a license,
and they now make use of them. People don't have irrigation resources
so they can use them to water their plants in that way,' he added.

The ecologist noted that Armenia, which is considered a world center
of fresh water, does not make a rational use of its resources.

`We have the problem of Sevan, and today, we can be said to have the
Ararat water basin problem as well. Armenia has to develop a new
strategy and policies. Armenia is considered a fish exporting country
today. But those fishes are grown at the expense of our fish
resources,' he said.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress