- Country: Armenia
- Component: Water resources
The workshop’s main objective was to introduce water accounts to decision makers. It was organized by the Armenian NGO Environment and Health in the scope of the EU4Environment Water & Data Programme.
Water accounting enables a consistent representation of the role and importance of water for the economy and the impact of the economy on water resources.
Water accounts show the stocks and flows of water between the environment (for example groundwater, rivers and atmosphere) and the economy (agriculture, industries and private households). This makes it easier to see what quantity of water is needed by which economic sector, and they can provide a basis for decisions on the allocation of water quantities to economic sectors, especially in areas where water is limited, as is the case in Armenia.
During the workshop, the participants discussed water accounts and the role of water in the economy of Armenia, physical water flows and data exchange, as well as water use fees and environmental taxes: better understanding of water accounts, which means better understanding how water is spent and how it circulates, allows for more efficient planning and more sustainable water governance.#EU4Environment Water and Data
On July 12th, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) organized a workshop on the investment environment for water resources in Armenia, within the framework of the "EU4Environment: Water resources and environmental data" programme.
The preliminary results of the assessment of the investment environment were presented on this occasion: the participants also discussed their options for overcoming the barriers to investment in the water sector, as well as their opportunities for improvement.
Gayane Gabrielyan, Deputy Minister of Environment of the Republic of Armenia, delivered the opening speech, emphasizing the significance of the ongoing study. She noted that amajore challenge to enhancing water services in Armenia is the lack of adequate financing and finance mobilization.
As a result of these discussions, participants identified their top priorities, for which the research team will provide recommendations to address the obstacles. They also agreed to present the study's findings for discussion and input from interested parties in the coming months.
Read the news article in Armenian here.
(Photo credit: Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Armenia)
On March 22, the international community celebrated World Water Day. Each year, a specific theme highlights one particular issue linked to the management and use of water resources ; this year’s theme was "Be the change", which underlined the fact that one must take action at their own level to change the way they use and consume water resources.
In order to achieve such a goal, Armenian NGO "Environment and Health" organised a national public monitoring campaign under the "EU4Environment - Water Resources and Environmental Data" programme, with the financial assistance of the European Union.
The campaign gathered 150 schoolchildren, students, and active young people coming from different regions of Armenia; with the support of appropriate guide-videos, the participants sampled and tested water from nearby rivers and lakes, and from snow and rainwater, they assessed dust contents in the air. The young students’ actions have been relayed by the Armenian Ministry of Nature Protection, and broadcasted on the Armenian public television (ARMTV Channel).
The results of their actions were compiled by Environment and Health and used to create a story map, which can be found here.
A video documenting the monitoring campaign can also be found here.
On June 15, 2023 the first consultation workshop for the development of a quantitative water resources management plan for the Kasakh sub-basin took place in Antarut, Aragatsotn marz. The Ministry of Environment of Armenia and the EU4Environment Water and Data programme organised the consultation.
The workshop was attended by 52 representatives of the beneficiary organisations, regional administrations, local self-governance authorities, local subcontractor, water users, water sector experts, as well as representatives of the EU Delegation to Armenia and of the EU4Environment Water and Data programme.
Discussions on sustainable water resources sharing among water users
For this workshop, the first results of the water balance calculations were presented. It includes the quantification of available water resources, the quantification of environmental water needs and the quantification of water uses by sector. Participants shared their knowledge of current and projected water use by sector and made proposals on how to structure the water balance calculations. The working group sessions were facilitated by the representatives of the Ministry of Environment, the Statistical Committee, and the Hydrometeorology and Monitoring Centre.
Participants stressed the importance of assessing available water resources properly, developing allocation mechanisms, and maintaining a minimum environmental flow.
Given the structural water scarcity and drought conditions the sub-basin is facing, many participants stressed the importance of such dialogues with local stakeholders.
The quantitative water resources management plan
The EU4Environment Water and Data programme supports the development of a pilot quantitative water resources management plan for the Kasakh sub-basin. It is the first such plan to be developed in the Eastern Partner Countries. It is based on similar management plans developed in France for several years.
The Kasakh water quantity management plan aims to ensure a sufficient amount of water for different users, e.g. agriculture, industry, drinking water and aquatic ecosystems, at the scale of the sub-basin. The consultation process aims to set collective management rules, to develop water-saving measures and to adopt monitoring tools.
On February 16, 2023, Armenia kicked off the development of a River Basin Management Plan (RBMP) for the Northern River Basin District (RBD) in Dzoraget (Lori marz).
The aim of the meeting was to present the approach and timeline for the development of RBMP for the Northern RBD of Armenia, introduce the team of Armenian experts involved in the development, and initiate dialogue with the local stakeholders in order to insure a participative development of the plan.
The meeting was attended by 35 representatives of the beneficiary organisations, regional administrations, local self-governance authorities, local subcontractor, water sector experts, as well as by the EU Delegation to Armenia and the “EU4Environment Water and Data” project.
Opening remarks were made by Lilit Abrhamyan, Head of Water Policy Department of the Ministry of Environment of Armenia and Andrea Baggioli, Programme Managemer of the Cooperation Section of the EU Delegation to Armenia.
The Armenian team leader for the development of the RBMP chapters, the Director of the Institute of Chemical Physics of the National Academy of Science of Armenia, presented the timeline and methodology of the RBMP development. The work to develop the RBMP chapters started in December 2022, the RBMP is expected to be finalised by June 2024.
Each Armenian expert responsible for a specific part of the RBMP presented the approach and methodologies to follow: hydrological analysis and water balance calculation, hydrogeological analysis and groundwater resources monitoring, assessment of vulnerability of water resources within the climate change context, identification of significant pressures and their impacts, and water quality aspects. Participants to the workshop gave feedbacks on the proposed approaches.
Approach for communication and stakeholder engagement in the basin was also presented by the expert of the local contractor, and the role of corresponding Basin Management Organization was specifically highlighted in that context. Two plenary consultation meetings (multi stakeholder meetings) are foreseen at different development stages of the plan.
The last session of the workshop was dedicated to the identification of data and information, to on-going projects and initiatives in the basin, as well as to a preliminary identification of the main issues in the basin, according to local stakeholders. The identified issues ranged from site-specific pressures to general problem concerning the whole Northern river basin, as well as to institutional and global issues, requiring intervention at national level.
Many of the workshop participants stressed the importance of continuing such dialogues and the Armenian experts team solicited the feedbacks from local stakeholders in the process of RBMP development.