Government of Armenia Adopts Southern Basin Water Management Plan
The Government of Armenia recently adopted the Southern Basin Management Plan to better measure and man-age water usage in the region. The Plan presents a remarkable step forward for the country towards more sustainable management of its water resources.
The Southern Basin Management Plan is a result of the multi-year collaboration among USAID’s Clean Energy and Water Program, implemented by ME&A (Mendez England & Associates) from 2011 to 2015, the Government of Armenia, and the stakeholders at the national and regional levels.
A comprehensive document, it defines volumes of surface and groundwater resources available in the Vorotan, Voghji and Meghriget River basins, requirements for sustaining the needs of ecosystems, population and industry under conditions of changing climate. It provides a pro-gram of priority measures to be implemented between 2016-2021 by the public and private sectors to address Syunik Marz of Armenia. Based on rigorous analysis with the application of advanced remote sensing technologies and best scientific practice, the Plan has been developed in a participatory process with the involvement of citizen groups, local communities and representatives of the national, regional and local governments.
The Southern Basin Management Area covers Syunik Province – the most industry-intensive region of Armenia, where the environmental situation has been increasingly deteriorating. Extensive mining, uncontrolled spread of small hydropower plants, poor farming, damping of wastes and other practices led to the pollution and depletion of the water resources in the region. Despite that, the region remains the most magnificent part of Armenia, rich in cultural, historical and natural monuments worth preserving, and a leading tourist destination.
ME&A currently implements the Advanced Science & Partnerships for Integrated Resource Development (ASPIRED) Project for USAID/Armenia, to support sustainable water resource management and sustainable practices of water users at the core of the water-energy nexus through the use of science, technology, innovation and partnership approaches.