Armenian Parliament debates saving Lake Sevan
Saturday, December 15, 2001
A programme to restore Lake Sevan is being debated on Saturday by an extraordinary session of Armenia's National Assembly. A bill, "On A Comprehensive Programme for Measures to Restore, Preserve, Reproduce and Use the Ecosystem of Lake Sevan," provides for a possibility of raising the water level of the unique alpine lake by nearly 7 metres in the course of next 25 years.
This can be achieved by stabilizing all components of the water balance, and also after restoring and commissioning two large hydro-engineering schemes - tunnels Arpa-Sevan and Vorotan-Arpa. The reconstruction of the former will make it possible to supply the lake with an additional 33 million tons of water annually, which will raise its level by 23 centimetres. Completion of the second tunnel will add to Sevan's water resources a further 165 million tons a year by raising the lake's level by 12 centimetres. In that way, in 25 years' time, given stabilisation of all accompanying ecological factors, the water level in the lake can be raised by 7 metres.
The water level in Lake Sevan, as a result of wanton and ill-considered use of its resources, has over the past 60 years dropped by 20 metres.