YEREVAN, March 22 /ARKA/. The Armenian government has approved today a list of areas where construction and operation of small hydropower plants will be prohibited.
While presenting a set of amendments to the Water Code, Minister of Nature Protection Erik Grigoryan said they designate the zones which will be prohibited for the construction and operation of small hydropower plants because of environmental requirements.
He said the proposed amendments outline also the grounds for rejecting applications for water use permits by newly built small hydropower plants.
“In fact, we determine the territories where construction of hydropower plants will be completely banned,” Grigoryan said.
According to him, construction of small hydropower plants will be banned on the rivers with spawning grounds for endemic fish species, characteristic of these territories or listed in the Red Book of Armenia. The minister said it will not be possible to build hydropower stations also on rivers, whose load through the diversion canals is 40% or more, and also where there are water measurement points.
He said that construction will be prohibited in the specially protected areas, at a distance of 150 meters from natural and historical monuments, in protected aquatic ecosystems, in the areas where water flows are formed, also in sections of rivers where there is a threat of landslides, as well as in forest zones where deforestation is required for building the road to the construction site.
“We also continue to work with the current hydroelectric power plants so that they are brought in line with the requirements. Some 50% of the hydroelectric power plants have already installed water meters, but the regulation is still expanding and much remains to be done,” Grigoryan said.