USAID CEW Program Delivers Equipment to Monitor Groundwater in Armenia’s Ararat Valley
USAID presented flow-meters to the Ministry of Nature Protection of Armenia at a ceremony held on February 24 at “Masisdzuk” fish farm in Sayat Nova in Ararat Province. Susan Fritz, USAID’s Acting Assistant Administrator for the Europe and Eurasia Bureau, Karen Hilliard, USAID/Armenia Mission Director, Simon Papyan, Deputy Minister of Nature Protection, Vahan Davtyan, head of the Water Resource Management Agency of the Ministry of Nature Protection, and other government officials attended the event.
The USAID Clean Energy and Water Program (CEWP) purchased latest generation portable flow-meters as part of USAID’s technical support to the Ministry of Nature Protection and the Water Resources Management Agency, with the aim of strengthening control over the extensive exploitation of groundwater resources in the Ararat Valley. The flow meters will be used to monitor the level of groundwater extraction by fisheries – currently the largest water consumers in the area.
The assessment of the current status of groundwater resources in the Ararat Valley, conducted by USAID/CEWP in 2014, raised public awareness of the shrinking level of groundwater in the Ararat Valley, Armenia’s vital agricultural hub. Uncontrolled withdrawal and use of the groundwater by numerous fisheries was reported as one of the major causes. Stricter water permitting practices, consistent oversight, and the introduction of innovative water conservation technologies will help mitigate and eventually reverse the damaging effects of the unregulated use of the groundwater reserves in the Ararat Valley.
The USAID-funded Clean Energy and Water Program is a four-year project designed to support Armenia in improving sustainable management of the water and energy sectors. The Program is implemented by ME&A in Armenia.