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Sharing water sustainably in Armenia: first consultation on the water quantitative management plan for the Kasakh sub-basin (15 June 2023)

Country: Armenia
Component: Water resources

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.

Armenia kicks off the planning process for the Northern river basin

Country: Armenia
Component: Water resources

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.

Workshop on water accounts on June 13th in Armenia

Country: Armenia
Component: Water resources, Environmental Data

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

You can download an explicative infography in English here, and in Armenian here.

Armenia: promotion of Nature Based Solutions and their positive applications for the water sector

Country: Armenia
Component: Water resources

A workshop on Nature-Based Solutions and potential applications for the water sector in Armenia took place on Tuesday 4th October, in the aftermath of the 20th meeting of the National Policy Dialogue on water. In the afternoon, participants visited the Khor Virap Ramsar site to see how wetlands strengthen ecosystem services and what could be the benefits for water users.

World Water Day: In Armenia, students conduct water and air monitoring

Date: 11/04/2023
Country: Armenia
Component: Water resources, Environmental Data

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.

Armenia adopts a cross-sectoral approach to tackling its water management challenges at the 20th meeting of the National Policy Dialogue on water

Country: Armenia
Component: Water resources

Sustainable management of precious water resources will play a key role in the continued socio-economic development of Armenia. Around 80% of the country’s crops are irrigated, with agriculture accounting for 12% of GDP, while hydropower accounts for 40% of total electricity production. Water is a truly cross-sectoral issue touching all areas of the economy and the lives of citizens. On 3-4 October 2022, Armenia hosted the 20th meeting of the National Policy Dialogue on Water. This dialogue marks an important milestone, with the recent revision of the Water Code of Armenia, which brought the country closer to the EU water legislative framework. To prepare for this meeting, by official Decree No 304-L of September 6, 2022 of the Minister of Environment, Armenia has reformed its cross-sector Steering Committee on National Policy Dialogue on Water to engage a broad representation from national and local government, academia and the NGO community to drive the water policy reform.

Chaired by the Ministry of Environment and organised within the frame of the new EU4Environment Water Resources and Environmental Data Programme, the meeting aims to build upon the momentum created by the updated Water Code, identify priorities for water management and the environment, assess progress with recent policy reforms in the water sector and to brief steering committee members on the latest developments with ongoing national and international water projects in Armenia. 

Ms Gayane Gabrielyan, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Armenia said: “Armenia is the regional leader in democracy index, as confirmed by the recently published 2021 democracy index. In the area of water sector management, Armenia also applies democratic governance approaches. The inter-sectoral Steering Committee of the National Policy Dialogue on water issues, which includes national and local-level representatives of the state agencies, scientific-educational institutions and non-governmental organisations, supports the implementation of the Government of Armenia programs in the water sector, as well as international obligations undertaken by the country. The National Policy Dialogue is an important platform for coordinating, supplementing and ensuring result-oriented outcomes of the international organisations and initiatives in the water sector, with an overall aim to promote sustainable management of water resources, and their rational use within the climate change context.” 

Mr Frank Hess, Head of Cooperation Section of the EU Delegation to Armenia said that “The EU is delighted to partner with Armenia in its water policy reform journey. Water is key to any national economy and working in partnership is crucial to gain support for reforms. Armenia’s commitment to the National Policy Dialogue provides a sustainable platform for change” 

The meeting was attended by Armenia’s Steering Committee for the National Policy Dialogue on Water. It was chaired by the Deputy Minister Gayane Gabrielyan and the cross-sectoral Committee consisted of 35 members from the Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Territorial Administration and Infrastructures, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Economy, Public Services Regulatory Commission, Regional Administrations and Universities, Institutes and NGOs. Representatives of the EU Delegation to Armenia and international projects and donors working in the Armenian water sector were also present.

Speaking on behalf of the Programme’s implementing partners, Mr Alexander Zinke, Environment Agency Austria, values the Government’s commitment to tackle existing water management and environmental challenges: “Like other countries of the European Union’s Eastern Partnership, Armenia faces challenges with water pollution and exploitation of water resources that are need of better protection. This EU programme continues strengthening the country’s capacities in river basin planning, monitoring and sustainable water use, as well as in collecting and publishing further data on land use, waste and air pollution. Overall, we are really pleased with progress being made.”




The EU-funded “EU4Environment – Water Resources and Environmental Data” Programme, launched in 2021, aims at supporting a more sustainable use of water resources and improving the use of sound environmental data ... Read more




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