Water use permits of 17 SHPPs of Yeghegis River will be revised


Taking into consideration the catastrophic environmental situation in the gorge of Yeghegis River and unallowable water scarcity in the river, by the instruction of the Minister of Environment Romanos Petrosyan, an interdepartmental working group will be set up - within a short time period - in a bid to address the problems in small hydroelectric power plants over Yeghegis River.
By the order of Minister Petrosyan, the water use permits issued to 17 hydroelectric power plants over Yeghegis River shall be subjected to a primary study; the inconsistencies and inaccuracies in thereof will be identified, the quantities defined by the water use permits will be reviewed, and the actual volume of water abstraction used by SHPPs will be clarified.
On the basis of  the collected information, a series of inspections will be embarked on in collaboration with the Inspectorate for Nature Protection and Mineral Resources to detect all the sections loaded with river diversion pipes.  The corresponding legislative tools to define well-determined and supervisory mechanisms to restore the disturbed ecosystem of the river in the short time period, to bring the activities of entrepreneurs exclusively to the legal field.
Special emphasis was laid on the quantities of ecological flow implemented by SHPPs. Minister Petrosyan issued  a clear-cut instruction to ensure the quantity of guaranteed volume of environmental flow, to submit a legislative draft streamlining  the above-mentioned sphere - within a short time period - in an effort to define strict supervision over the ecological flow.

The issue of the efficiency and compliance of the fishways - built by the SHPPs - with the standards will become a mandatory component of the study by the working group.
The interdepartmental working group will include representatives of professional subdivisions of  the Ministry of Environment, Territorial Administration, Infrastructure, Inspectorate for Nature Protection and Mineral Resources, and local self-government bodies.
The status of adjusting the existing gaps in the legislative field coordinating the sector will be highlighted, eloborating the existing legislative arrangments necessary for regulation and drafting new drafts.

Small hydroelectric power plants are a crucial link in the energy independence and security of the Republic of Armenia, since their operation should not cause damage to the environment, by disrupting ecosystems and threatening the biodiversity security.