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Water Economy Aspects
of Water Resources Management in the Republic of Armenia

Levon Chilingaryan, Boris Mnatsakanyan, Kamo Aghababyan

Institute of Water Problems and Hydraulic Engineering, Yerevan, Armenia


Armenia (RA) is characterized by a mountainous landscape. Its natural features, climate, relief and geography with their combinations, are varied. In general, the country is dry, which is caused by its geographical features. The water resources of Armenia have unequal time-regional distribution. The water demand, where dominates irrigation, is also unequally distributed, moreover, it is opposite to the distribution of resources.
Nowadays, when the water usage is crucial in the present stage of country economics development, the planning of integrated management of water resources has gained its significance. It has many-sided approaches. Today, the management planning application is under refinement, according to the requirements of country water legislation, disclosing the needs and supremacy, elaboration of national water program, carrying out of state water cadastre and etc.
The issues of surface runoff and groundwater usage and protection have are significant for the development of water resource management planning. It is essential to give dominant importance to the water economy aspects generally in water resource management. It follows from water demand and the main source of its supply, which is river runoff time-regional unequal and opposite distribution, their water economy and hydrological specifications.
In future the water demand may excel in river runoff in some regions. It points from water prior usage reverse water cleaning and double usage, as well as about the necessity of more usage of groundwater resources in these regions. The quantity correlation of water demand and water sources varies in different regions. For balancing it is also foreseen the necessity to inter basin water distribution.
The main water usage, which is water demand for irrigation according to the opposition of annual distribution of river runoff indicates, that if the runoff in dry year is less of 40% against the annual average, the water demand is more for 50%. The opposition between the distribution of demand and runoff within a year is more pointed out. If the summer season runoff makes 19-20% against the annual one, the irrigation demand makes 70%. The summer minimum month runoff makes 5% of the annual runoff, but the demand of that month is the maximum, which is 25-30% of annual demand. The regime (shift) opposition of runoff and demand dictates the necessity of regulation of seasonal, annual and multi annual runoff in different regions, in different sizes.
During Soviet period 40% of land having irrigation system were irrigated in mechanic way. Nowadays a program is worked out passing from mechanic way to gravity irrigation, which is in the preliminary phase of implementation. A complete argumentation of hydrological, water economy and ecological aspects are needed for the program.
It follows from the aforementioned considerations that the specification of water resources and their usage should be predominating in the resource management national and regional plans. Technically it is possible if management plans are compiled on the basis of hydrological – water resources models.