by Karina Manukyan
Lake Sevan is on the verge of environmental disaster, Silva Adamyan, Head of the Bird Lovers' Center NGO, said at a press conference on Tuesday.
She said that the situation on the lake keeps deteriorating under the impact of external factors. On the one hand, the shores, which have not been cleared from trees and bushes but have found themselves under water due to the project on raising the water level of Lake Sevan, lead to bogging of the lake. On the other hand, 60% of the water is polluted and endangers the ichthyofauna. Adamyan added that the temperature of the lake water is rising, which is also a negative factor.
The increase of the maximum limit of water release from Lake Sevan may worsen the situation even more.
To remind, on 29 April the Parliament amended the Law "On approval of the annual complex action plan on restoration, maintenance, reproduction and exploitation of the ecosystem of Lake Sevan" in the first reading. According to the amendments, the maximum water release from the Sevan shall be increased from 170 mln cu m to 240 mln cu m for a year. However, it has recently become known to the environmentalists that after the first reading the Government submitted a new document to the Parliament, which said that the maximum water release shall be increased to 270 mln cu m. The Parliament approved these amendments.
Adamyan doubts that the water release from the lake is so much needed for irrigation purposes in Ararat Valley. She said that according to a public opinion poll, the residents of Armash and Surenavan villages use artesian wells for irrigation instead of the Sevan water. The same situation is in Armavir.
The expert is confident that the only goal of increasing the water release from Lake Sevan is to prevent the mansions and recreation areas in the nearshore zone from drowning as a result of the project on raising the water level of Lake Sevan.
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