First working group meeting

On August 28, USAID ASPRED Project and Ministry of Environment (ME) held the first session of a Working Group (WG) of the ME in Yerevan, to discuss the ASPIRED project preliminary findings on hydrologic and hydrogeologic conditions in the Ararat Valley, and a draft of the Ararat Valley Atlas. Edgar Pirumyan, Acting Head of the Department of Licenses, Permits and Compliances of the ME, chaired the session.  

Working Group meeting launch

Due to COVID 19, the WG meetings were delayed, the interaction was online.  As the first live session, it was a bit special: it was interactive, where all members of this group convened and summarized the works carried out to date.

Established on January 30, 2020 by the order of the Minister of Environment, the WG involves representatives from the ME, including Departments of Licenses, Permits and Compliances; Water Policy;  and Hydrometeorology and Monitoring Center. As well, the WB members include Water Committee of the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure; Institute of Geological Sciences; and Institute of Geophysics and Engineering Seismology after A. Nazarov; USAID-Armenia and ASPIRED Project representatives.

The role of the WG is to ensure effective implementation of tasks and planned results within projects supported by international donor organizations in Armenia’s water sector, such as USAID.

During the session, the ASPIRED team presented the results of calculations of water supply and demand balance of Ararat Valley for 2016, estimated values of groundwater reserves of Ararat Valley groundwater basin, natural groundwater resources and sustainable rate of groundwater use. The team described the methodology and analytical tools applied during the work and highlighted the recommendations of the WG earlier this year.

Presentation on Ararat Valley groundwater basin

ASPIRED also presented the draft Atlas of Ararat Valley: this product was put together in close collaboration with the state agencies and international partner organizations, who provided geospatial data and information on Ararat Valley water resources.    

The WG members then discussed the ASPIRED findings on hydrologic and hydrogeologic conditions in Ararat Valley, gave further advice for refining the Atlas before presenting it to the Government and other stakeholders.

Dr. Hrachya Shahinyan, Institute of Geological Sciences of the National Academy of Sciences of Armenia, mentioned that the “methodology applied in the ASPIRED work is a traditional approach for mathematical assessment of groundwater resources, that utilizes advanced analytical tools within the ArcGIS environment and groundwater modeling software.”

Discussions underway

On the same note, Nazik Jzmachyan, Chief Specialist of the Department on Licenses, Permits and Compliances continued, by “proposing specific measures to the Government of Armenia for implementation of a new data-driven policy on sustainable management of water resources in Ararat Valley”.

 Edgar Misakyan, Head of Hydrology Center of Hydrometeorology and Monitoring Center of the ME proposed “recommending to the Government outsourcing tasks on filling in data and analytic gaps for supporting decisions on water resources in the Ararat Valley to scientific and research institutions.”

Small group discussions

Gevorg Aloyan, acting Head of Asset Management and Investments Implementation Department of Water Committee “emphasized the importance of regular updates of the modeling tools for Ararat Valley groundwater basin with data and use of tools.” He provided a few recommendations on publishing the Ararat Valley Atlas, which “is a good source of up-to-date data and information consolidated in one publication, with a single geospatial database for Ararat Valley.”

Participants of the session agreed on the next steps: a) finalize the main findings on water resources in the Ararat Valley; b) provide recommendations to the Government of Armenia on sustainable management of groundwater and surface water resources in Ararat Valley – Armenia’s major agricultural zone and livelihood source for the region.

Online opening of the Yeghegnut community water system improvement project

July 30: ASPIRED conducted a virtual opening for the USAID-funded Armavir region Yeghegnut water system improvement project.  The Project was completed through successful collaboration of the USAID Advanced Science and Partnerships for Integrated Resource Development Project (ASPIRED), the PURE-Water Projects, and in-kind contribution  by Yeghegnut community.  The opening was attended by the USAID Mission Director Deborah Grieser, Armavir region Governor Hambardzum Matevosyan, acting deputy Mayor of Yeghegnut Ashot Khurshudyan, implementing and partner organizations, guests.

During the event a video was aired highlighting the water system network improvement project outcomes.

The Project implementation resulted in 24-hour chlorinated water supply for all households in the community. The Project rehabilitated the water network and built a new pumping and chlorination stations. The old and deteriorated network was replaced with the new, polyethylene pipes, while water meters were installed in all houses.  The project introduced a new water service management software for efficient management of water bills and consumption by the residents. billing and metering software for efficient management of the water bills and consumption of users.

This project is not limited to supplying water to the community: due to the new system, there are significant water and energy savings – 308,000 m3 of water; and 118 MWh of energy annually.

In his opening remarks, the Armavir region Governor highlighted the hand-over of the improved water network to the community for future oversight and maintenance. “Everything is possible when you select proper partners, organize work efficiently and care for the work”.

Another important outcome of the project is that two local residents will have jobs: having been trained within the project, they will oversee and ensure uninterrupted operation of the system.

“I congratulate the members of Yeghegnut community, because this is a momentous occasion and I am proud and happy to be celebrating with you, even though it is virtually.  Yeghegnut was deprived of safe and reliable drinking water for over a couple of decades, 70% of community water had been lost due to deterioration of the pipes.  Thank you for the support the community extended to the ASPIRED  and PURE Water projects, to realize the dream of over 2200 residents of the community – to have safe and clean water 24 hour a day, 7 days a week”, mentioned USAID Armenia Mission Director Deborah Grieser in the opening remarks.

Water Is Life: Clean Water for Yeghegnut Community

Razmik Mkrtchyan, acting Mayor of Yeghegnut community: “As a result of water system improvement earlier this year, all 482 households of the village are provided with 24-hour clean potable water, they pay for water they consume. Running water for the entire day ensures good protection from COVID 19 pandemic.”

The Project rehabilitated the water network: a new pumping and chlorination station with a new water line were built. The project provides safe and chlorinated drinking water: safe, because for many years people used rusty, muddy and unsafe water running from taps.

In the past 20-plus years, drinking water was a priority need and a dream for the community: today it is a reality! The entire community, approximately 2200 residents benefit from the project.

“Walk throughout the village: every street and remote house has clean water. This is critical necessity for us, for women particularly, to ensure proper hygiene and sanitation and healthy livelihood”, Dzyunik Khurshudyan, community resident.

This project is not limited to supplying water to the community: due to the new system, there are significant water and energy savings – 308,000 m3 of water; and 118 MWh of energy annually. Water meters have been installed in all households, establishing a new culture of water consumption: more responsible and caring attitude towards water use.

Another important outcome of the project is that at least two local people will have jobs: having been trained within the project, they will oversee and ensure uninterrupted operation of the system including pumping and chlorinating stations.

The renovation of Yeghegnut drinking water system was completed through successful collaboration of the USAID Advanced Science and Partnerships for Integrated Resource Development Project (ASPIRED), the PURE-Water Projects, and in-kind contribution by Yeghegnut community. This is how joint efforts and successful partnership make a difference and positive impact on community life.

The virtual opening of the Yeghegnut project was organized on July 30, 3 pm, attended by the USAID Mission Director, Armavir region Governor, Yeghegnut administration, implementing and partner organizations, guests.

ASPIRED Continues Developing the Groundwater Flow Model

On Wednesday, April 15, the ASPIRED team had an online session with Todd Wood for presenting and discussing the simplified groundwater flow model for the Ararat Valley.  Mr. Wood is the expert of the US-based Aquaveo Company who consults the ASPIRED team on the groundwater modeling work.

The ASPIRED team presented the recent version of the groundwater flow model after the adjustments have been made in the parameters of various attributes of the model following Mr. Wood’s recommendations made earlier.  The ASPIRED team and the AQUAVEO expert diagnosed the model simulation results to identify the needs for further adjustments.

As a result, ASPIRED will generate a fully calibrated groundwater flow model for the Ararat Valley. The model can be used to determine the impact of the groundwater abstraction on the state of the aquifers. 

‼️ Announcement

The USAID-funded Advanced Science and Partnerships for Integrated Resource Development (ASPIRED) Project intends to implement a project on permanent sealing of an artesian well in the Ararat Valley. At this stage, the ASPIRED Project is planning to contract out feasibility and design works.

All design companies, which have specialists on board with the knowledge and experience in projects on sealing of damaged artesian wells and are interested in participating in the call for proposals soon to be announced by the ASPIRED Project, are invited to send the following information about their company – name, contact details, names of contact persons – to the ASPIRED Project via the following e-mail mkoshkaryan@engl.com by April 2️3️.

Irrigation Network Installation in Pokr Vedi

The ASPIRED Project completed installation of the main section of the irrigation pipeline in Armenian Pokr Vedi community located in Ararat region and proceeded to the installation of the water outlets.

The ASPIRED Partners for this project are Hayastan All-Armenian Fund and Artashat Water User Association. The concept paper was developed in collaboration with the USAID’s PURE Water Project.

Testing Irrigation System in Vedi

On March 3, the ASPIRED team tested the performance of the municipal irrigation system installed in Vedi, along with the staff of the local municipality. 👨‍🔧🌳 The new system is intended for irrigation of the municipal green zones as well as the football field of the local sports school.

The Urban Irrigation System Optimization Project in Vedi is implemented by the ASPIRED Project in collaboration with the municipality of Vedi and USAID-funded PURE Water Project.

Pre-Bid Meeting Clarifications on IFB # 190220-01: Supply of Pipes and Fittings, and Implementation of Construction Work under the Irrigation Optimization Project in Khachpar Village

On February 226, the ASPIRED Project held a pre-bid meeting for potential bidders under the IFB # 190220-01: Supply of Pipes and Fittings, and Implementation of Construction Work under the Irrigation Optimization Project in Khachpar Village. The full document here:

Meeting in the Armenian Parliament

On February 21, the USAID and ASPIRED Project representatives met with the Chairman of the Standing Committee on Territorial Administration, Local Self-Government, Agriculture and Environment of the Parliament of Armenia Varazdat Karapetyan. The ASPIRED team presented the project activities on improvement of the data availability on groundwater resources, legal and regulatory initiatives in the water sector, as well as water and energy saving pilot projects implemented in the Ararat Valley. Participants of the meeting also discussed existing collaboration opportunities for improvement of the Armenian water sector legislation.