Armenia receives aid to tackle chronic water resource programme

The German government and the World Bank have pledged large-scale funding to develop effective management of the country’s water resources and stop chronic wasteage.

According to the head of the state committee for water resources and adviser to the Armenian prime minister, Gagik Martirosyan, the Caucasian republic has developed a 10-year programme which is expected to attract $200 million during the first five years, the independent news agency reported. The first funding expected is from the German government allocating 57 million Deutsch Marks (US$ 25 million) and the World Bank contributing about US$ 55 million this year.

Martirosyan said management of water resources was currently extremely ineffective with average losses above in water supply amounting to 60-70%. An average of 2,500 litres of drinking water are supplied per capita every year in the tiny nation of 3.4 million inhabitants.

In addition, a main water reservoir will be built on the Aras River, the country’s largest and longest, but which flows through Armenia’s semi-desert areas. The new reservoir will add another 106 million cubic metres of water to the current 270 million capacity stored in the area.

The Armenian Ministry for Environmental Protection will implement and coordinate the programme and will soon draft a state policy, the news report said.

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