On September 18, the USAID-funded Participatory Utilization and Resource Efficiency of Water (PURE Water) project, and 12 project partner communities, in collaboration with Coca‑Cola Hellenic Armenia celebrated the World Water Monitoring Day.
The event that took place in Vedi community aimed at increasing public awareness on efficient water management of groundwater resources in the Ararat Valley through highlighting the importance of actions taken by community residents to monitor and protect their own water resources.
USAID Mission Director, Ararat City Deputy Mayor, Vedi Community Head, and representatives of Coca‑Cola Hellenic Armenia and PURE Water project were present at the event.
USAID’s Mission Director Deborah Grieser highlighted “We are proud of PURE Water’s contribution to the empowerment of Ararat Valley youth to monitor water resources in their communities, and learn about their water rights. We are optimistic that this effort will create a positive behavior change that will be a model for other communities around Armenia to follow.
The United States Government is proud of this ongoing collaboration with our Armenian partners in the water sector, and our ongoing collaboration exemplifies the deep partnership between our two countries that is based on shared values towards protecting valuable water resource.”
Christoph Speck, the General Manager of Coca‑Cola Hellenic Armenia, emphasized in his speech “As a responsible business we have always highlighted the importance of environmental protection. I am proud that a number of technical solutions we have employed in our company have made it possible to significantly reduce the amount of water used in our production. Monitoring plays crucial role in our water stewardship process, as it allows to keep track of our actions and tune them in the right direction. I think it is important to make sure that people and businesses, possess skills to monitor the water they use and also have the appropriate tools to do so.”
During the event Vahan Stepanyan, Coca‑Cola Hellenic Armenia’s Sustainability Manager presented the water stewardship system and technical solutions used in the plant. By introducing water-saving technologies in production lines and keeping all water-consuming sections of the factory under constant monitoring, the company has managed to improve its water-use efficiency, reducing consumption by 20% over the past few years.
Earlier, PURE Water Project organized a series of training and study tours for Ararat Valley residents and youth, where participants were taught how to monitor and evaluate water quality using water testing equipment provided by the USAID funded PURE Water project. The results of the water quality monitoring in several Ararat Valley communities were presented during the event, and data from of the water monitoring exercises were uploaded to the World Water Monitoring Day portal (http://www.worldwatermonitoringday.org) where it could be viewed by 1,5 million people from 146 countries around the globe who have access to the portal.
Testing water quality locally, sharing data internationally, and taking action to protect water resources, allowed residents of PURE Water’s 12 partner communities to increase awareness to the communities’ ability to monitor and evaluate their own water resources, thus contributing to the health and sustainability of their communities.
Participants in the event included teachers from partner communities, youth, local government representatives of PURE’s partner communities, representatives of “Civic Journalists” and “Active Community Citizens” groups. Also, present at the event were representatives of the Ararat water basin management division, and representatives of “Environmental Impact Monitoring Center” SNCO, the RA Environmental Protection and Mining Inspection Body and the Water Committee of RA MEINR.
The public event was organized as part of the series “Water is Precious: Every Drop is Special” launched by PURE-Water project in March 2018 in cooperation with Coca‑Cola Hellenic Armenia.
The goal of the PURE Water project is to increase water productivity, efficiency and quality in the Ararat Valley mainly through citizen participation, as well as a foster behavioral change to reduce the rate of groundwater extraction in the Ararat Valley.
The PURE Water Project is implemented by the Urban Foundation for Sustainable Development (UFSD), jointly with the Country Water Partnership (CWP) and Yerevan State University Ecological Law Resource Center (ELRC).