For two weeks, from January 14 to January 25, the ASPIRED Project conducted the training course on the new calculation method of the ecological flow in the Armenian rivers. The new method of determination of the ecological flow has been developed by the Clean Energy and Water Program of USAID in 2015 and adopted by the Government of Armenia in January 2018.
Realizing the need for additional training, the Water Resources Management Agency of the Ministry of Nature Protection requested USAID that the ASPIRED Project experts, who elaborated the method, provide in-depth training to the specialists of the Ministry estimating the ecological flow values as part of water use permitting and compliance assurance.
Combining both theory and practice, the course was a useful learning experience for the participants – the specialists of the various divisions of the Ministry of Nature Protection, Ministry of Agriculture, the Inspectorate for Nature Protection and Mineral Resources of the Government of Armenia. Starting from the general overview of the data management, GIS systems and general hydrology, the course gradually expanded to the method of determination of monthly and annual ecological flow values of both studied and unstudied rivers of Armenia, using Arpa River as an example. The participants received the user manual, the template file in MS Excel as well as the geodatabase (the GIS files) needed for the calculation of the ecological flow.
At the end, the participants commended the ASPIRED Project for putting together a comprehensive and very interactive course which equipped the specialist with new working tools and skills. During the certificates award ceremony, Christine Khanoyan from the Ministry of Agriculture noted, “I would like to use the opportunity to say big thanks to the trainers who did an incredible job delivering the content and answering all questions with patience. I am excited to implement the new knowledge into my work.”