by Nana Martirosyan
The Armenian Government's decision to increase the water release from Lake Sevan to 270 mln cu m endangers the lake ecosystem, environmentalist Knarik Hovhannisyan said at today's press conference in Yerevan.
She said that within the next 5 years the increase in water release will reduce the water level in the Sevan by over 50 cm, which will become a serious threat to the endemic species.
She disagrees with the opinion that the water release should be increased to settle the problem of irrigation in Ararat Valley. "In fact, if the water level rises, it will cover the hotels and cottages on the shore, which bring big income to the oligarchs. In addition, the water will cover the roads and it will be necessary to build new roads", she said. So, an easy way has been found to improve the situation, she added.
The expert is also concerned over the fact that the program on replenishment of ishkhan (Armenian trout) reserves in Lake Sevan and fish breeding development will seriously harm the lake. According to the project, the stock of ishkhan fed on artificial food will be increased to 50,000 tons by 2019. Hovhannisyan thinks that the artificial food will pollute the lake.