On June 24, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) marked the successful completion of water supply improvements in Aratashen community in Armavir.  Thanks to this assistance, Aratashen’s 3,200 residents will now receive clean water 24 hours a day instead of the former four.

USAID Mission Director Deborah Grieser and Governor of Armavir Hambardzum Matevosyan participated in the public event, helping launch the community’s new pumping station.  Guests then walked through the village and visited households to see the newly installed water system in action.

For decades, Aratashen’s old and inefficient water system caused excessive water loss and posed high contamination risks for the locals.  With no capital investment in the system since the Soviet era, nearly 80% of the water leaked out through corroded pipes.  Lack of water metering system, in its turn, resulted in unreasonably high waste of water.  Mayor Vahram Harutyunyan admits they would operate three pumps, yet round-the-clock water supply remained unattainable for the village.  Some parts of Aratashen, particularly its remote areas, didn’t get any water during the summer season when the water demand was especially high.

In response, USAID’s Advanced Science and Partnerships for Integrated Resource Development (ASPIRED) and Participatory Utilization and Resource Efficiency of Water (PURE Water) projects, together with the community of Aratashen, joined their efforts to rehabilitate Aratashen’s water supply network.  Assistance included installation of 10 km of corrosion-resistant polyethylene piping, new pump, chlorination station, and water metering devices, as well as introduction of new billing software for water supply services.  These vital improvements will now allow the community to save 557,000 cubic meters of water and 204 megawatt-hour of energy each year.

Aratashen’s water supply challenges are common for more than 30 communities in the Ararat Valley, currently experiencing critical shortages of drinking and irrigation water due to the depleting groundwater resources in the valley.  This affects the quality of life and the economic well-being of more than 80,000 people.  The ASPIRED and PURE Water projects, funded by USAID, are jointly rehabilitating water infrastructure in Aratashen and four other affected communities in Ararat and Armavir regions.  The projects employ modern water and energy saving technologies to deliver drinking and irrigation water to these communities.

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