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.