Sustainable Farming Training for the Beneficiaries of Sayat-Nova Community

On July 10, the ASPIRED Project organized a one-day training on sustainable agriculture for the farmers – beneficiaries of the irrigation project in Sayat-Nova community. The main objective of the training was to provide hands-on knowledge to participants regarding crops and irrigation methods, safe use and disposal of fertilizers, nutritional value of crops, as well as common pests and diseases damaging plants.  The trainer particularly focused on the use of water-saving irrigation methods, and cultivation of high-value crops, taking into account their seasonal demand, which can provide bigger income to farmers.  The training was conducted in the CARD Agricultural Support Center in Darakert, the specialists of CARD Credit and Card Agroservice presented their services available for farmers, including leasing, new machines and tools, seeds and fertilizers.

Job Announcement in ASPIRED Project: Legal Expert

Scope of Work 

 Development of a legal package for adopting requirements for protection of water resources in recreation zones of the Ararat basin management area of Armenia. 

  1. Background

The Advanced Science & Partnerships for Integrated Resource Development (ASPIRED) Project, funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID), is a 5-year initiative (2015-2020) designed to support sustainable management of water resources in the Ararat Valley through the use of science, innovation and partnerships. The Project is implemented by the Armenian Branch of ME&A.

Within the framework of the Project, the ASPIRED supports the Government of Armenia (GOA) in improving water sector legislation. Under this task, the Project will collaborate with the Ministry of Nature Protection (MNP) of Armenia in implementing priority measures for effective management of water resources in the Ararat Basin Management Areas of Armenia, as stipulated in the Government Decision N: 338-N, dated March 31, 2016 on approving the management plan for the period of 2016-2021 for the Ararat basin management area and priority measures.

Detailed information on the ASPIRED Project activities can be obtained at http://www.aspired.wadi-mea.com

  1. Scope of Work

The incumbent in the position of Legal Expert will serve under the general direction of the Project Chief of Party. As part of this Statement of Work, activities will be implemented to provide legal expertise towards improving Armenia’s legislation on protection of water resources in the recreation zones of the Ararat basin management area of Armenia. An Interagency Task force will be established by the ASPIRED Project in collaboration with the Government of Armenia to work on this issue.

The following major tasks are envisaged to be implemented under this SOW:

  1. Assess legal and other technical documents on protection of water resources in the recreation zones in the Ararat basin management area, provided by the stakeholder agencies and ASPIRED team.
  2. Develop a draft legal package for adoption of government decision on defining the requirements for protection of water resources in recreation zones in the Ararat basin management area, using technical input materials provided by the ASPIRED experts.
  3. Participate in the meetings and consultations with the stakeholders and address legal issues related to definition of the requirements on protection of water resources in recreation zones.

3. Deliverables

Unless otherwise specified, reports, decisions/legal acts drafted and other related materials shall be submitted in Armenian language and include, but not limited to the following:

  1. Prepare and submit work plan with activities and implementation timeline for implementation of the SOW for approval (within 2 days after award of the contract).
  2. Prepare a draft legal package for adopting the government decision on defining the requirements for protection of water resources in recreation zones in the Ararat basin management area of Armenia, following the requirements of Armenian legislation (July-August 2018, totallevel of effort shallnot exceed 10 days).
  3. Prepare and deliver presentations to the Interagency Task force and other stakeholders. (July-August 2018, totallevel of effort shallnot exceed 4 days).

All documents shall be submitted in electronic version in MS Word and/or Power Point Presentation formats.

4. Required Expertise

The applicant shall hold advanced university degree (Master’s or PhD) in area of expertise (Law or equivalent in the area of legislation);

  • Extensive legal/technical experience, 5 years of technical work experience in conducting similar assessment and analyses, particularly as related to water resources and environment;
  • Direct experience of working on and knowledge of the legal framework and ongoing reforms in Armenian water sector;
  • Familiarity with the EU WFD processes, guidelines and requirements;
  • Excellent writing skills;
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills;
  • Good knowledge of the English language is desirable;

5. Timing

It is anticipated that the Contract will be awarded in July 2018. The assignments described in the SOW shall be carried out and completed within 2 (two) months after award of the contract.

 

Job Announcement in ASPIRED Project: Hydrologist/Hydromorphology Specialist

Scope of Work

 Development of requirements for protection of water resources in recreation zones of the Ararat basin management area of Armenia

 

  1. Background

The Advanced Science & Partnerships for Integrated Resource Development (ASPIRED) Project funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) is a 5-year initiative (2015-2020) designed to support sustainable management of water resources in the Ararat Valley through the use of science, innovation and partnerships. The Project is implemented by the Armenian Branch of Mendez England & Associates.

Within the framework of the Project, the ASPIRED supports the Government of Armenia (GOA) in improving water sector legislation. Under this task, the Project will collaborate with the Ministry of Nature Protection (MNP) of Armenia in implementing priority measures for effective management of water resources in the Ararat Basin Management Areas of Armenia, as stipulated in the Government Decision N: 338-N, dated March 31, 2016 on approving the management plan for the period of 2016-2021 for the Ararat basin management area and priority measures.

  1. Scope of Work

The incumbent in the position of Hydrologist/Hydromorphology Specialist will serve under the general direction of the ASPIRED Project Chief of Party. As part of this Statement of Work, activities will be implemented to provide technical expertise towards improving Armenia’s legislation on protection of water resources in the recreation zones of the Ararat basin management area of Armenia. An Interagency Task force will be established by the ASPIRED Project in collaboration with the Government of Armenia to work on this issue.

The following major tasks are envisaged to be implemented:

  • Provide the list of required hydrological and hydro morphological conditions derived from the conditions and requirements defined for recreation zones;
  • Conduct a desk study on the requirements defined nationally and worldwide for protection of water resources in recreation zones;
  • Present the selected requirements to the MNP as the best suitable for protecting water resources in recreation zones in Armenia;
  • Participating in stakeholder presentations and discussions on requirements for protection of water resources in recreation zones, hosted by the MNP.
  1. Deliverables

Unless otherwise specified, reports, documents and other related materials shall be submitted in Armenian and include, but not limited to the following:

  1. Work plan with activities and implementation timeline for implementation of the SOW for approval (within 5 days upon award of the contract).
  2. Compilation of the materials related to protection of water resources in recreation zones from the relevant agencies (within 15 days upon award of the contract).
  3. Analysis of national and international practice on hydrological requirements for protection of water resources in recreation zones (within 22 days upon award of the contract).
  4. A document providing a set of recommendations on hydrological requirements for protection of water resources in recreation zones for Armenia (within 30 days upon award of the contract).

All documents shall be submitted in electronic version in MS Word and/or Power Point Presentation formats.

  1. Required Expertise

The applicant shall hold advanced university degree (Master’s or PhD) in the relevant field – hydrology, hydro morphology or any other related field;

  • Minimum 5 years of technical work experience in hydrological/hydromorphological assessment and analysis;
  • Familiarity with the Armenia’s Water legislation and EU WFD processes, guidelines and requirements;
  • Analytical skills and strong attention to details;
  • Excellent writing skills;
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills;
  • Knowledge of the English language is highly desirable.
  1. Timing

It is anticipated that the Contract will be awarded in July 2018. The assignments described in the SOW shall be carried out and completed within 2 (two) months after award of the contract.

 

Land-Cover and Land Use Mapping Results for the Ararat Valley Summarized

On June 19, ASPIRED Project presented the results of the land-cover/use classification on Ararat Valley to the representatives of the Ministries of Nature Protection, Agriculture, Energy Infrastructures and Natural Resources, research and academic institutions. One of the objectives of the ASPIRED Project is to improve the data on the groundwater resources of Ararat Valley, by enhancing current mechanisms of data collection, processing and maintenance.

Simon Papyan, the Head of the  Environmental Monitoring and Information Center of the Ministry of Nature Protection thanked USAID for continuous efforts to develop the water management sector of Armenia. Acknowledging the sophisticated analysis done by the ASPIRED Project team, he emphasized that the environmental challenges of the region should be considered in the context of the nexus between the land use and water use issues of the Ararat Valley. The ASPIRED Project used high-resolution satellite imagery Sentinel-2 and the European Environmental Agency’s CORINE (Coordinated Information on the Environment)  system to perform the land cover and land use classification of the Ararat Valley. The satellite images  were processed to identify the problematic areas requiring additional clarification through ground-truthing with the use of GPS devices. As a final product, ASPIRED has a land cover/use map prepared for the Ararat Valley which was provided to the stakeholders along with the available databases.

Ground-truthing to verify the data of satellite images

The Deputy Minister of Energy Infrastructures and Natural Resources, Vardan Gevorgyan, mentioned that the Republican Geological Fund also possessed significant amount of data and materials. There may be a need for technical discussions between the ASPIRED and the Ministry specialists to verify the consistency between the two data sets.

The land use/cover data will help to generate the precipitation/run-off curves and estimate the hydrological balance, and, more importantly, the water demand and supply balance of the Ararat Valley’s Artesian Basin. The potential applications of these analytical tools are numerous, from environmental protection and hydrology to resource management and agriculture, providing the basis for more informed decision making on the use of available groundwater resources in the Ararat Valley.

Armen Harutyunyan, the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, valued the lasting partnership between USAID and the Ministry of Agriculture. Discussing the modern techniques to data collection, Mr. Harutyunyan raised the importance of having a comprehensive electronic map of Armenia that would consolidate of diverse data from nature protection, agriculture, energy and other relevant sectors. He further noted that this might become the next important project of USAID and the Government of Armenia in the nearest future.

Conceptual Approach to Groundwater Modeling

Ararat Valley and its Basin

On June 6, ASPIRED presented the Ararat Valley groundwater model with the specialists of the Ministry of Nature Protection. The objective of the groundwater modeling is to provide decision support tools on the Ararat Valley groundwater basin, aimed at ensuring efficient management, improving monitoring and control mechanisms over the consumption of the groundwater resources. It’s also an important instrument to assist in planning the long-term demand for water and developing the groundwater resource protection policies.

The groundwater modeling task involves the following steps:

  • Ararat Valley groundwater basin 3D model construction, with the hydrogeologic data of existing wells in the Ararat Valley (stratification, geological structure of rocks, age, etc.)
  • Determination of the deep flows in the groundwater basin (feeding flows),  i.e. the amount of water feeding the artesian basin through precipitation and infiltration,
  • Identification of water horizons and the volume of water
  • Design of the groundwater flow digital model, including identification of flow directions

The modeling is carried out in ArcGIS environment, with the use of Arc Hydro Groundwater (AHGW), Groundwater Modeling System (GMS) և MODFLOW software tools.

At the initial stage, the ASPIRED team developed the conceptual model of the Ararat Valley artesian basin which introduces the purpose of modeling, major steps involved, the methodologies, data sets and tools applied as well as expected outcome. The model will cover the Ararat Valley artesian basin within the borders of Armenia up to 900 m altitude. Ararat Valley is one of the priority regions of Armenia due to its agricultural importance, economic value, the population density and the groundwater abstraction rates. The region accounts for nearly 50% of the groundwater abstraction throughout the country.

The development of the groundwater model of the Ararat Valley is indispensable without support of the Ministry of Nature Protection, particularly the experts of the Environmental Monitoring and Information Center (EMIC). During the meeting, both the ASPIRED and EMIC representatives emphasized the importance of the team work in the accomplishment of this challenging task given the size and the geological complexity of the Ararat Valley’s artesian basin.

 

 

Introduction of the Automated Online Centralized Management System in the Ararat Valley is Underway

The pilot project is implemented in partnership with Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling company as part of the Memorandum of Understanding signed on July 20, 2016. Twenty groundwater abstraction points at the fisheries of Ararat Valley will be equipped with the flow meters and data loggers to transmit the data to the remote server installed in the Ministry of Nature Protection. The data will be updated every five minutes and stored on the server for up to five years.

At the pilot stage, the system covers four large fisheries of the Ararat Valley – Alex Grig, Inter Aqua, Max Fish, and Unifish companies with limited liability. After the successful launch of the system, the Government plans to extend the network onto other fisheries of the Ararat Valley.

The installation of the automatic monitoring system will ultimately help to enhance the monitoring of the groundwater use in the Ararat Valley and control over the compliance with approved water use permits. Moreover, availability of a reliable data system and analytical tools will provide the basis for more informed decision-making on water resources in the Ararat Valley.

 

Irrigation Improvement Project in Sayat-Nova Village

Construction of the pumping station is underway for the irrigation improvement project in Sayat-Nova village. The main building is nearly completed and the sub-contractor supplied the pumps ready for installation. The pumping station is built at Masis-Dzuk fish-farm, the owner of which endorsed the idea of channeling the fish farm outlet water to the farmlands of Sayat-Nova community. The newly built network will allow irrigating 60 ha of land at the moment, with further potential for expansion. More information on the project and partners here.

Invitation for Bids For Supply of PE Pipes and Fittings, and Pipeline Mounting Work

Invitation for Bids (IFB)

for Supply of PE Pipes and Fittings, and Pipeline Mounting Work,

under Sayat-Nova Water Reuse/Irrigation Rehabilitation Project

ASPIRED is soliciting Bids for the supply of PE pipes and fittings and provision of PE pipe welding and pipeline mounting work under a broader project on water reuse and irrigation rehabilitation in Sayat-Nova Village. The bid requirements can be viewed in the attached document: IFB_Sayat Nova_Pipes_eng

Bids must be submitted no later than 17:00, Yerevan Time, on Wednesday, April 18, 2018. Each bidder must submit one hard copy of the bid to USAID ASPIRED Project office at CITADEL Business Center, 105/1, Teryan Street, Suite 204, Yerevan.