Pilot Projects

ASPIRED pilot projects with application of locally appropriate and cost effective water and energy efficiency technologies at different water use areas and fish farms in the Ararat Valley. Pilot projects are aimed at improving management of natural resources and reducing groundwater extraction levels. A related goal is to make water users more energy efficient and promote application of clean energy technologies.


The project will improve irrigation water availability for Khachpar village. Upon completion, the community will receive about 250 l/s of water which will meet their irrigation water needs.

Activities will include the following:

  • The ASPIRED Project will replace the existing earth canal with the PE pipeline
  • Build inlet and outlet chambers and related infrastructure. This will help to prevent the solid waste particles from getting into the pipe and to manage the water flow
  • Repair existing roadside canals inside the village and increase their flow capacity to 250 l/second.

The  project is implemented through the cooperation of ASPIRED and PURE-Water Projects.


The Project is implemented jointly by the ASPIRED Project, Hayastan All-Armenian Fund (AAF) and Artashat Water User Association. On June 18, 2019, the ASPIRED Project and AAF signed a Cooperation Agreement marking the beginning of this project, each party providing more than 15 mln. Armenian Drams for its implementation.

Activities include:

  • Replacement of existing corroded pipes with more durable PE pipes
  • Installation of new PE pipes instead of existing earth ditches
  • Repair/replacement of existing pump’s impeller to improve operational efficiency

The Project will improve irrigation efficiency for 120 hectares of land and return to cultivation additional 40 hectares of arid community farmlands which have been left idle for years due to the lack of water. Hence, the total coverage is 160 hectares. The project will enable income generation opportunities for 400 land-owners who will directly benefit from improved irrigation network.


The objective of the project is to improve the operational efficiency of an artesian well in the Village of Hovtashat through optimization of the water use for irrigation needs. The water output of the well is 82 liters/second, the diameter of the well pipe 300 mm. During the irrigation season, the well  water will be channeled to the nearby fields (about 50-60 ha). The project includes the following activities:

  • Site preparation – i.e. clearing of reeds and rubble, and installation of a temporary gravity flow water drain
  • Repair of the existing intake reservoir
  • Construction of a valve chamber and irrigation network
  • Installation of a booster pipe and a mobile diesel generator to operate the pump

Project impact: 

  • Annual net saving of groundwater – 1,474,000 cubic meters.
  • Irrigation of about 60 hectares of land which were left idle before the project
  • Income-generation opportunities for 57 farmers.


The infrastructure project is implemented through the cooperation of ASPIRED and PURE-Water Projects. The project provides a new irrigation system for the municipal park and the football field for the town of Vedi.  The new system will be equipped with a diversified pumping system for low and high elevation zones, a new  30 m3 storage reservoir, and new water pipes. The existing irrigation system is fully renovated to reduce water loss and ensure more efficient irrigation.

On top of that, a 19 kW solar power system will be installed the roof of the sports school located  next to the football field. The PV kit will help to reduce the cost of pumping for the municipal budget and can be used for heating the school in winter and for powering the pumps in summer.

Proposed improvements will result in significant water and energy savings and in more affordable irrigation for the Municipality.

Project impact:

  • Annual saving of groundwater  – 27,374 cubic meters
  • Electricity saving –  13,193 kWh in comparison with the current level of consumption
  • Annual clean energy generation – about 33,288 kWh
  • Preservation of municipal park area: 3.5 hectares.


The infrastructure project is implemented through cooperation of ASPIRED and PURE-Water Projects. The project on the improvement of the drinking water system in the Village of Aratashen will consist of the following works:

  • Redesign of the network and installation of polyethylene pipes
  • Installation of a new submersible pump to supply water to the network
  • Design and construction of a chlorination station
  • Installation of individual water meters at all households connected to the new network

These network renovation will result in a significant improvement of the water supply in this community from 5 hours per day to 24 hours, improve the safety of drinking water and reduce the number of breakages in the network.


Success story Aratashen-eng


Project is implemented through cooperation of ASPIRED and PURE-Water Projects. The project includes the following works:

  • Redesign of the network and installation of polyethylene pipes
  • Installation of a new submersible pump to supply water to the network
  • Design and construction of a chlorination station
  • Installation of individual water meters at all households connected to the new network

These network renovation will result in the round-the-clock safe drinking water supply in the community as compared to previous 3 hours and increased water savings due to the reduction of water losses from the network.


Optimization of the unused wells is one of the ways to increase efficiency of the groundwater use in the Ararat Valley. The objective of the project is to use the water from the self-emitting unused well located in Sipanik community for irrigation purposes. The well is about 210 meters deep and the discharge is estimated to 30 liters per second. The project includes the following steps:

  • Site preparation;
  • Cleaning and repair of the well pipe
  • Construction of a valve chamber and installation of the water pipeline to channel water to the main distribution channels of the existing irrigation network.
  • Ensuring irrigation of 20 hectares of farmlands

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

The ASPIRED project supports the Armenian Government in improving the management of the groundwater resources in the Ararat Valley through the introduction of the automated online centralized management system in the Ararat Valley.

Implemented in partnership with Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling company as part of the Memorandum of Understanding signed on July 20, 2016, the pilot project focuses on the installation of the flow meters and data loggers on 20 groundwater abstraction points existing in the fish farms. The real time data on the groundwater measurements will be transmitted to a remote server installed in the Ministry of Nature Protection and made available online to users through the web site of the Water Resources Management Agency. The data will be updated every five minutes and stored on a server for up to five years.

At the pilot stage, the system covers four large fish farms 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 into other fish farms 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.


The Project is implemented by the ASPIRED Project, USAID’s Partnership for Rural Prosperity (PRP) Project, implemented by the Small and Medium Entrepreneurship Development National Center of Armenia (SME DNC), the Fund for Armenian Relief and Sayat-Nova community under a cooperation agreement signed on December 25, 2017. The objective of the project is to ensure irrigation of 60 ha of community farmlands with the use of the outlet water of Masis-Dzuk fish farm. The project includes the following activities:

  • Pumping station built in the premises of Masis-Dzuk fish farm with its infrastructure, that will be used to pump water for irrigation of the nearby fields,
  • Extension of a pipeline from the pumping station to the upper part of the old irrigation system, so that the water can flow back through the existing aqueducts by gravity
  • Rehabilitation of the existing irrigation network and clean-up of existing earth and concrete ditches.

The new irrigation network built with joint effort of the project partners will be transferred to the community for ownership. The community will be responsible for the exploitation and maintenance of the system for the purposes of the Project.

Immediate results of the Project:

  • Community residents – 2400 people,
  • Direct project beneficiaries – 98 households,
  • Prevention of the use of artesian water for irrigation purposes by the community
  • Saving of strategically important groundwater resources: 1,920,000 m3 of water per annum,
  • Prevention of soil degradation: at least 60 ha.

Success story Sayat-Nova_eng


The Aquaculture Technology Transfer Center is an experimental base for testing, validating and demonstrating various modern aquaculture technologies and methods at smaller scale. The Project is implemented in partnership with Armavir Farmer LLC – a privately-owned fish farm near Metsamor in Armavir region. Once proven successful, these technologies and best practices can be captured and utilized by other fish-farm owners, with the aim of minimizing costs and using existing resources more efficiently.

The following technologies, methods and tools can be tested and demonstrated in the Center:

  1. Re-circulation; around 70% of the total inflow water will be the recirculated water from the outlet of the fish farm. Only around 30% of the total inflow water will be supplied from the well.
  2. Passive settling; to remove solid organic particles (fish excretions) from the outlet water without additional energy costs, passive settling will be used. The settled lime will be removed using a simple system of drain pipes and valves.
  3. Airlifting = aeration + pumping; airlift pumps will be used to combine two functions: enriching the water with oxygen and lifting it to the point of inlet of the following facility.
  4. Bio-filtration; to convert ammonia (NH4+ and NH3) excreted by the fish into nitrate, outlet water will be channeled through biofilters – a substrate for the bacterial community that use ammonia for energy and produce nitrates from it.
  5. Phyto-filtration; this will be done in two facilities: a water hyacinth pond and an aquaponic greenhouse technically consisting of sand filters (media for growing the plants) combined with phyto-filters (plants cultivated in the farm). In addition to producing valuable crops, the pond and the greenhouse will work as an integrated filtration facility that cleans the water from nitrates, phosphates and suspended (unsettled) organic particles.
  6. Use of outlet water for crayfish farming; to avoid excessive concentration of salts and minerals in recirculated water, some amount of fresh water should be constantly added to the system (around 30%). This will naturally cause the overflowing of equivalent (less evaporation and other losses) amount of water from the system. Before the final discharge, the overflow water can be used for crayfish farming, since crayfish is less sensitive to water quality and more sensitive to water temperature (the optimal water temperature for red claw crayfish farming is 27°C).
  7. Biological treatment of wastewater; the outflow water, after passing through the crayfish ponds will not be usable for any other type of aquaculture production. However, before being discharged into the environment (more specifically the drain channel), it will be treated biologically in a reed-bed (wetland) facility to minimize the impact on the environment. At the same time, the green reed harvested from the wetland will be used as feed  stock for the biogas digesters.
  8. Anaerobic digestion; the wastes from the fish-farm, the greenhouse, the water hyacinth pond and the reed-bed facility can be used to produce biogas. The generated biogas will be used to produce electricity and to heat the water in crayfish ponds.
  9. Photovoltaic kits; a 15 kW PV kit can be used as an additional source of renewable energy to cover the power demand of the recirculation system.


The ASPIRED launched a project on permanent sealing of the artesian well # 1/403 near the Village of Sipanik, Ararat Marz. The well had an outflow of 35-40 liters per second, as per estimates. The casing and the upper part of the well tube was damaged. Part of the water from this self-emitting well outflowed into the drainage channel while the rest flooded the neighboring fields, bogging the area and blocking the passage to the local cemetery.

The plan on sealing involved four major phases: 1) assessment of the condition of the well casing; 2) preparation of the site to ensure access to the well for heavy machinery; 3) cleaning the well tube from rubble rubble and any debris that would create ‘pockets’ and reduce the effectiveness of sealing; 4) sealing of the well with a mix of bentonite and neat cement. After the flow has been stopped and the monitoring showed no flow on the outside of the well casing, the upper part of the well (3-4m) was filled with monolith concrete.

This method of well conservation is widely practiced in various countries including United States. Based on the estimated water flow data, the annual saving of artesian groundwater resources as a result of the well sealing will be equal to 1.1 million cubic meters.

success story Sipanik-eng

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In 2016, the ASPIRED Project in collaboration with Coca-Cola Hellenic Armenia and ERGIS NGO implemented the irrigation system rehabilitation project in the Village of Hayanist, Ararat Marz, targeted to provide more affordable irrigation services via more efficient groundwater use. The essence of the project is to use the outlet water from the fish farm near Hayanist community for irrigation of 40 ha of community land. The new pumping station was built at the outlet section of the fish farm and the new irrigation network was installed with the use of polyethylene pipes.

Direct human and environmental impact of the project:

  • Number of beneficiaries: 370 people from 120 households
  • No additional water will be taken from the groundwater aquifers
  • Saving of strategic groundwater resources: 1,100,000 m3 annually;
  • Saving of electricity on pumping: 24,000 kWh annually;
  • Prevention of degradation of soil: 40 ha

Hayanist food safety testing-eng