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New Water Code Adopted: legal reforms in Armenia progress towards preservation of water resources

Country: Armenia
Component: Water resources

Armenia takes a step further with the harmonisation of its fundamental legislative documents with the EU water acquis

On 7 July, Armenia adopted a package of amendments to its Water Code, which has been developed with the support of the European Union. The Water Code aims to ensure the sustainable management of water resources and its preservation for future Armenian generations*. The amended Water Code now takes greater account of the natural water cycle and of the limits of water as a finite resource.  

A shift in the management of water resources: taking into account water’s cross-sectorial nature

The amended Water Code clarifies the principle of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM), a concept that calls for better cooperation between all water-user sectors - mainly the agricultural, water supply, energy, industrial, and health sectors - to preserve water resources. To this end, the amendments incorporate the main principles of the European Union Water Framework Directive, such as the necessity to manage water resources at the scale of the river basin and in close cooperation with all water users.

A shift in the perception of rivers, lakes and aquifers:  bringing knowledge up to another level

By adopting EU terminologies such as “water bodies”, “water status” or “biological monitoring”, the amended Water Code lays the ground for a more holistic and comprehensive view of how rivers, lakes and aquatic ecosystems of Armenia work. This will subsequently improve the quality of knowledge, making it more relevant for decision-makers, water users and every Armenian citizen.

EU continuous support towards Armenia’s green transformation: there is no green without blue

The EU4Environment – Water and Data programme welcomes this adoption that makes Armenia even closer to the EU water acquis. The programme is supporting Armenia for the next two years with capacity building and experience sharing between the EU partner country and a consortium consisting of two EU Member States (Austria and France) and two international organisations (UNECE and OECD). The programme has two main objectives: support a more sustainable use of water resources and improve the use of sound environmental data and their availability for policy-makers and citizens.

*Three legislative documents provide the foundation for the management of water resources in Armenia: the Water Code, the National Water Policy and National Water Programme. The government approved the package of amendments for all three legislative documents earlier in June, and the Parliament adopted the amendments package in the second and final reading on July 7, 2022. The amendments were prepared pursuant to the requirements of the Road Map of Implementation of the Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement with the European Union in the area of water quality and resources management.

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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