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Yerevan's mismanagement putting Lake Sevan in danger

20 August 2014 [14:12] - TODAY.AZ
By AzerNews

Armenian government's indifferent attitude towards environmental problems is jeopardizing the ecological system not only of the country but also the whole region.

Caucasus region's largest Lake Sevan is under danger because of Armenian leadership's mismanagement.

Experts have warned about Armenian government's decision to release additional water from Lake Sevan.

Earlier, the Armenian government decided to increase the maximum intake from Sevan in 2014 to 25 million cubic meters, justifying it by referring to the need to meet irrigation demand for farmers.

Director of hydroecology and ichthyology Evelina Ghukasyan said on August 18 that the ruling circles' policy regarding Lake Sevan should be ruled out, Armenian media reported.

The expert said the research centers are dealing with the problems of Sevan but they have never seen any scientific evidence in government's decision.

"We do not know how such a decision was made. Sometimes absurd ones are justified. The government is violating the law on Lake Sevan. The only way to save the lake and the only way to restore water resources is to increase the water level. Raising and lowering of the water level will have a negative impact on the formation of ecosystem of the lake," Ghukasyan said.

The natural water basin is situated in Azerbaijan's historical Gokcha region. The original name of the Sevan Lake is Gokhca, which means "Blue River" in Turkish. There were a lot of Azerbaijanis living around the lake until 1988.

Armenia deported more than 250,000 Azerbaijanis in January, 1988, as a result of its ethnic cleansing policy. Afterwards, the Armenian authorities falsified the etymology of the lake and changed its name to "Sevan".

The Armenian government usually adopts decision on the Lake Sevan without taking into account the consequences.

Meanwhile, "For Sustainable Human Development" NGO Director and environmentalist Karine Danielyan said the Armenian government decision on releasing additional water from the Lake will result in a ten-centimeter reduction in the water level, as compared to the previous year.

Danielyan said this decision would inflict a serious blow to Lake Sevan, stressing that by raising the water level in the lake, the biological and chemical indicators have improved.

She also went on to note that the seismologists likewise have expressed concern over the government's decision, since the water-level fluctuations may cause seismic activity.

Armenia, jolted by some devastating earthquakes in the past, is located in very active seismic zone. Thus, any measures leading to a disbalance in the ecological system could yield hazardous consequences not only for Armenia, but also for its neighbors.

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