CLOSURE OF SELF-EMITTING WELL IN ARARAT VALLEY TO HELP SAVE GROUNDWATER RESOURCES

On November 3, USAID and local partners marked the successful completion of a project that supported the permanent sealing of a self-flowing well near Sipanik village, Ararat marz. USAID Armenia Mission Director, Deborah Grieser; Armenia’s First Deputy Minister of Nature Protection, Erik Grigoryan; representatives of the regional government, local residents and mayors of neighboring villages were in attendance at the event.

In 2016, the USAID funded Advanced Science and Partnerships for Integrated Resource Development (ASPIRED) project conducted an inventory of groundwater wells, natural springs and fish farms, revealing 135 non-operational groundwater wells across the Ararat Valley, Armenia’s key agricultural hub. The total annual discharge from these unused wells is estimated to be around 35 million cubic meters of water. As a result, high quality groundwater is simply wasted, while the ecological imbalance of groundwater aquifers is increasing dramatically.

The permanent closure of the well in Sipanik was initiated at the request of the community mayor, Hrant Gevorgyan, based on the recommendation of the Ministry of Nature Protection. Never used by the community, the water from this self-emitting well flooded the village neighborhood, causing water-logging of the fields. With a water discharge of about 60 liters per second, about 1.9 million cubic meters of water will now be saved each year thanks to the well’s proper closure.

The project in Sipanik was implemented by the USAID ASPIRED project as part of the technical assistance to the Armenian government to address groundwater challenges in the Ararat Valley. Among its activities, ASPIRED demonstrates the use of innovative technologies and approaches to groundwater and energy saving via pilot projects in the Valley.

Sealing of non-operational artesian wells has an enormous potential to help conserve groundwater resources in the Ararat Valley. At the same time, optimization of these wells will provide opportunities for a more efficient use of groundwater for agricultural and household needs.

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Request for Proposals for Installation of the Automated Online Systems for Centralized Monitoring of Groundwater Use

The USAID-funded Advanced Science and Partnerships for Integrated Resources Development Project announces the Request for Applications among the local organizations (private, consulting  companies, research organizations or their consortium) for the acquisition and installation of equipment for the Automated Online Systems for Centralized Monitoring of Groundwater Use in selected fisheries in Ararat marz. Interested organizations can upload the documents required for the preparation of the application package via the links below.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The deadline for the submission of proposals was prolonged till November 20, 17:00. Proposals should be submitted to ASPIRED office at the address Citadel Business Center, 2nd floor, suite 204, 105/1 Teryan Str., Yerevan.

RFP Flow Meters Arm

Scope of work_ Flow Meters Arm

Instruct to Bidders Flow Meters_Arm

Request for Proposals for the Acquisition of Hard and Software Equipment for the Automated Central Control Hub of the Ministry of Nature Protection

REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS

for the Acquisition of Hard and Software Equipment for the Automated Central Control Hub of the Ministry of Nature Protection

The USAID-funded ASPIRED Project and Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company Armenia invite qualified local companies to submit quotes for the supply of hard and software equipment for the Automated Central Control Hub of the Ministry of Nature Protection. The technical specifications and quantities of requested goods are provided in the following document: MNP_Server_NRB_arm

Request for Proposals for the Design Works for the Project on Construction of an Efficient Water Use System at the Fish Farm

Գնառաջարկներ ներկայացնելու հրավեր

Ձկնաբուծարանում ջրի արդյունավետ օգտագործման համակարգի կառուցման ծրագրի նախագծային աշխատանքներն իրականացնելու համար

The USAID-funded ASPIRED Project invites qualified companies to submit proposals for the design of an efficient water use system to be built at the fish farm located near Metsamor. The specifications as well as terms and deadlines for the services to be delivered by the sub-contractor can be found in the following document: ATTC_design_RFP_arm

USAID AND USGS COLLABORATION TO BUILD GROUNDWATER MANAGEMENT CAPACITY FOR ARMENIA

USAID and USGS achieve significant milestone in their collaboration targeted at strengthening groundwater management capacities for Armenia. On August 29-30, the US USGS Dakota team provided a webinar to Armenian specialists on the hydrogeologic framework, the groundwater management options and next steps toward development of the groundwater-flow model for the Ararat Artesian Basin. Participants of the webinar were the representatives of the ASPIRED Project, Environmental Monitoring and Information Center and Water Resources Management Agency of the Ministry of Nature Protection, and Yerevan State University.

The webinar was conducted as part of a joint project between USAID and USGS on strengthening the groundwater management capacity in Armenia’s Ararat Valley which is aimed at summarizing the groundwater resources, characterizing the hydrogeologic framework and conditions of groundwater resources in the Ararat valley and building the in-country technical expertise for a more effective management of the groundwater resources. In February-March 2016, the UGSG team visited Armenia to meet with the stakeholders, collect in-country data and conduct the training for the local specialists on well inventory and water quality sampling protocols.

The USGS experts made a detailed presentation of the hydrogeologic framework of the Ararat Artesian Basin and the methodologies used to develop the complex hydrogeologic structure of the area using sophisticated tools ASPIRED team contributed vast amount of data to USGS, including available geologic maps, lithologic data from wells, well records and logs, groundwater-level measurements and other information collected and complied by the ASPIRED Project through the 2016 inventory of wells, natural springs and fish farms. As noted by Janet Carter, Deputy Director for Studies of USGS Dakota Water Science Center, “Data from inventory is phenomenal in a sense of detailed description of groundwater levels and groundwater use in the Ararat Valley.” “We were able to use most of the datasets provided by the Armenian partners in our study, which is exceptional. For other countries we would be able using from 2 to 8% of datasets available,” Joshua Valder, Hydrologist, Groundwater Specialist of the USGS Dakota Water Science Center said.

The hydrogeologic framework report, which is a result of incredible effort invested by the USGS Dakota Water Science Center, will be published online in an open access. It is the first step towards developing the groundwater-flow model of the Ararat Valley, which is a critical tool for more informed management decisions on strategic groundwater resources.

Request for Proposals

Ձկնաբուծական տնտեսության ջրահեռացման համակարգի ձևափոխման և դրենաժային ջրանցքի պատի ուժեղացման համար

ԱՄՆ միջազգային զարգացման գործակալության ֆինանսավորմամբ իրականացվող «Գիտական առաջադեմ տեխնոլոգիաների օգտագործում և համագործակցություն հանուն ռեսուրսների համալիր պահպանության» (ԳԱՏՕ) ծրագիրը հրավիրում է մասնագիտացված տեղական կազմակերպու­թյուններին գնառաջարկներ ներկայացնելու Արարատի մարզի Հայանիստ գյուղի հարևանությամբ գտնվող ձկնաբուծարանի ջրահեռացման համակարգի ձևափոխման և ձկնաբուծարանի հարևանությամբ գտնվող դրենաժային ջրանցքի պատի ամրացման համար:

Պահանջվող աշխատանքների մասնագրերը և ծավալները, ինչպես նաև առաջարկվող գործարքի պայմանները ներկայացված են կից փաստաթղթում՝ Hayanist_bank_RFP_arm

Hayanist Unveils Innovative Irrigation System

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During a public event on May 22, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company Armenia (CCHBCA), and the Global Environment Facility’s Small Grants Programme in Armenia (implemented by UNDP) marked the successful completion of a joint water project in Hayanist, Ararat. This is part of USAID’s broader efforts to curb the rate of groundwater abstraction in the Ararat Valley to sustainable levels.

Studies show that the groundwater reserves of the Ararat Valley are quickly disappearing. More than 30 communities are facing a shortage of water for drinking and irrigation. Reduced irrigation hits farms hard, negatively impacting the rural economy of Armenia and the nation’s food supply.

Hayanist is the first village in Armenia to practice an unconventional method of irrigation by reusing the water from a nearby fishery to meet the community’s irrigation needs. The project helped address a longtime irrigation issue by building a new pumping station at the water discharge point of the fishery, while conducting a quality analysis to ensure the water meets necessary quality standards for irrigation. The project also installed a new, more efficient irrigation pipe network as well as provided community training on sustainable farming practices.

Thanks to these efforts, the new system now benefits roughly 120 local households and irrigates 40 hectares of land that were left idle for two decades due to insufficient water supply. The project has also assisted the community in establishing a public-private partnership with the fish farm to support the more responsible use of groundwater in the Ararat Valley in the years to come.

U.S. Ambassador to Armenia Richard Mills, Jr. joined local residents and other dignitaries – including Ararat Governor, Aramayis Grigoryan, Hayanist Mayor, Babken Sargsyan, USAID Armenia Mission Director, Deborah Grieser, CCHBCA General Manager, Christoph Speck, and UNDP Resident Representative a.i. in Armenia, Dmitry Mariyasin – for the celebration event in the village.

“The residents of Hayanist should feel proud,” Ambassador Mills said at the ceremony. “They are pioneers, the first community to put in place this method of irrigation using water from a nearby fishery. The project not only increases the water available for irrigation, but makes water use by the fisheries more efficient. Due to this effort, the community will not require additional water be pumped from the ground to irrigate their fields. It will also save electricity and help reduce soil degradation. Your actions will safeguard Armenia’s vital water reserves, allow the development of the region’s agriculture sector and serve as an example of the innovative solutions we can develop when we work together as partners and friends.”

Guests visited the new pumping station at the fishery and walked through the fields to see the new irrigation system in use.

“This pilot initiative contributes to environmental sustainability by reusing discharge waters from fish-farms. It not only prevents land salinization and water-logging, caused by the excessive volume of discharged water in the Ararat Valley, but also returns abandoned farmlands to cultivation, becoming a major source of income for community residents. We hope that this demo project will serve as an example for reforms in the water management sector and be successfully replicated in other communities of Ararat region,” Dmitry Mariyasin, UNDP Resident Representative a.i. in Armenia, said during the opening event.

CCHBCA supported the implementation of the water project as part of the Memorandum of Understanding it signed with USAID and the Ministry of Nature Protection of Armenia in July 2016. Under the Memorandum, partners committed to improve water stewardship across Armenia and contribute to the conservation, efficiency, and management of the depleting water resources in the Ararat valley.

“Giving back to the community and contributing to its socio-economic development is an important part of our corporate culture. We are proud to be a part of this essential initiative. This project is particularly important for us, as water stewardship is one of the key pillars of Coca-Cola Hellenic’s sustainability commitments. I was very glad to see that some of the inhabitants have already managed to renew cultivation of their lands and I believe further improvement of life conditions of Hayanist community will follow, thanks to this partnership,” General Manager of Coca-Cola Hellenic Armenia Christoph Speck noted.

Water Resources Management Agency to Discuss New Monitoring Initiative with Fisheries

On February 16, the Water Resources Management Agency (WRMA) of the Ministry of Nature Protection conducted the working meeting with the fish-farming sector representatives to introduce the automated online system for the centralized monitoring of the groundwater use. Piloted with support of the USAID Advanced Science and Partnership for Integrated Resource Development (ASPIRED) Project and Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company Armenia, the new online system will be installed at 20 water use points in the fisheries of the Ararat Valley.  This project is included into the list of environmental measures planned under the Government’s Program of Priorities for 2017.

The head of the WRMA specified that fish farms enrolled into the pilot project will not bear any costs associated with the installation and maintenance of the system till the end of the ASPIRED Project. In the future, all fish farms will be obliged to install the online automated systems at their water use points. The meeting was to encourage the dialogue between the Government and the business representatives. It gave opportunity for the owners of the fish farms to express their concern over the new regulatory measure, particularly future costs to be incurred by the businesses. Discussions also unveiled facts of large-scale corruption during the issuance of water use permits in the past.

The newly introduced automated online system will provide the real-time data on actual water abstraction from a particular water use point, immediately revealing cases of over-abstraction. On the other hand, the WRMA can revise the water use permits for those fisheries where the actual consumption will be reportedly below the permitted level. The installation of the online automated system is intended to reduce corruption risks and strengthen the monitoring over the groundwater use in the Ararat Valley.

Online Monitoring System to be Introduced in Fisheries in 2017

The Ararat Valley of Armenia represents the most significant reserve of the groundwater resources of the country. The groundwater extraction in the Ararat Valley has reached unprecedented level in the recent decade, having caused the reduction of the artesian zone by more than 60%. The groundwater level dropped by 9 meters on average, thus leading to tremendous water shortage in the Valley. This overuse of water was largely accounted for by the extensive spread of fish farms in the area. For many years, the fish farms have been using high-quality groundwater in fish production without proper regulation and control.

In response to the situation, starting from 2014, the Government of Armenia has been approving a set of policy and regulatory measures aiming to reverse the situation, such as revision of the groundwater resource use fees and permit conditions, closure of illegal or abandoned wells and tightening of control. The Government’s Program of Priorities for 2017 anticipated introduction of 20 online automated systems for the centralized monitoring of the groundwater use in the fisheries of the Ararat Valley.  Overall, the Government’s Program contains 140 priority issues , covering economic and social sectors of the country.

The USAID’s Advanced Science and Partnership for Integrated Resource Development (ASPIRED) Project and the Coca-Cola Hellenic Armenia will install the online monitoring systems in 2017 as part of the Memorandum of Collaboration signed between USAID, the Coca-Cola Hellenic Armenia and the Ministry of Nature Protection in July 2016. By the end of the ASPIRED Project in 2020, the USAID will increase the number of online monitoring systems to 40 to include the largest fisheries.  Working online, the new system will allow for the real-time monitoring of the groundwater abstraction by the fisheries vis-à-vis allowable limits. This will improve the overall compliance and enforcement mechanism of water use permits. The data will be publicly accessible.