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14 Sep 2020


Armenia: Violations by small HPPs on Yeghegis river include excessive use of water resulting in water shortages for local communities

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Losing Yeghegis: 51.46% of River Flowing Through SHPP Pipelines, 14 September 2020

... In July 2020, RA Environment Ministry, studying the situation, taking into account the level of overloading of SHPPs on the Yeghegis River, announced that it intends to review the water use permits (WUPs) of all small HPPs operating on the Yeghegis River. According to the announcement, the process hasn’t been accomplished yet...

At the same time, RA Environmental and Mining Inspection Body only as a result of the inspections carried out in 2020 recorded cases of exceeding the water quantities issued by the water use permits. In particular, a fact of water intake exceeding the amount defined by the water use permit was recorded in "Yeghegnadzor" SHPP belonging to "MINA-MAYA" LLC. The company violated the requirements of Article 37 and Clause 2 of Article 114 of RA Water Code. An administrative fine in the amount of 200,000 AMD was imposed on "Mina-Maya" LLC. The damage to the environment amounted to 8,694,215 AMD.

In June 2020, Yegheg SHPP, owned by “Yegheg HEK” LLC, also recorded more water intake from Yeghegis River. As a result of the inspection, the damage to the environment in the amount of 3,813,821 AMD was calculated. Administrative proceedings have been initiated.

During its visit to the villages of Shatin and Yeghegis, located on the banks of the Yeghegis River in August 2020, EcoLur found out that there are complaints from the population about the lack of irrigation water on summer days. According to the locals, the water shortage is caused both by the work of the SHPPs located on the river during the irrigation season, and by the improper management of the general irrigation system. They noted a sharp decline or complete extinction of the red trout in the river. However, the residents of Yeghegis village connect the decrease in  their drinking water flows with the activity of "Nane" SHPP built by "Arates Energy" LLC on the Aysas tributary of Karakaya tributary to the Yeghegis, which has been operating since 2014 and uses the water of their drinking springs. With the operation of this SHPP, the residents face big problems with the drinking water of their pet pastures and livestock.