Lake Sevan is ‘blooming’ because of mistakes in measures taken to increase water level – head of commission

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YEREVAN, July 18. /ARKA/. Armenia’s Lake Sevan is booming because of the mistakes in the measures taken to increase water level, Yuri Javadyan, chairman of the Expert Committee on Protection of Lake Sevan of the Armenian National Academy of Sciences, said Wednesday at hearings in the National Assembly.

In early June, he said, some accumulation of cyanobacter and blue-green algae was seen in some parts of the lake, which made Sevan green.

Some varieties of the alga produce toxins affecting animals and human health.
In this connection, the health ministry urged citizens to refrain from swimming in such segments of the lake.

All waste and sewer waters of Gegharkunik region, where the lake is flow into Sevan, as well as all pollutants from coastal hotels and restaurants, as well as organic substances.

Javadyan said that only three waste water depuration stations operate only in there towns of Gegharkunik province, and even they don’t operate to their full extent. And this aggravates the problem.

As possible solution to the problem, Javadyan pointed out deployment of special depuration facilities near all the commercial units located in the coastal areas, creation of a new spoil disposal near the city of Hrazdan and also special water-purifying basins.

Javadyan also blamed the administration of the Sevan National Park for omission saying it was possible to prevent the water pollution – it was just necessary to act on time.

Sevan is one of the largest mountainous lakes in Europe and Asia. It sits in the middle of Armenian Highland at an altitude of 1914 meters above sea level.

Its basin’s total surface area is about 5,000 km2, which makes up 1⁄6 of Armenia’s territory. The lake itself is 1,242 km2. It is fed by 28 rivers and streams. Sevan has significant economic, cultural, and recreational value. Its only island (now a peninsula) is home to a medieval monastery.

The 48.3 km-long Arpa-Sevan tunnel is supplying lake with waters of Arpa and Yeghegis rivers. Lake Sevan is the largest body of water in Armenia and the Caucasus region. It is also one of the largest fresh water high-altitude lakes in Eurasia.

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