We saved over 40ha of agricultural land in Hayanist, Ararat province from deterioration by rehabilitating the irrigation network.
Hayanist is a medium-sized community of 2,500 people in the Masis region of Ararat marz. It is close to the capital and has fertile soil suitable for agriculture. However, most households cannot provide for their living and heads of families often choose to move for work as the only solution to their problems. According to the Mayor of the village, the main reason for this situation is lack of irrigation; around 160ha of the community’s agricultural land is not irrigated.
In fact, decreasing groundwater reserves and the uncontrolled use of the artesian water by fish farms has left some 30 communities in the Ararat and Armavir provinces without reliable access to drinking or irrigation water.
In 2016, Coca‑Cola Hellenic Bottling Company Armenia, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Ministry of Nature Protection of the Republic of Armenia signed a Memorandum of Understanding aimed at improving water stewardship across Armenia, focusing on conservation and effective use and management of water resources in the Ararat valley through science, innovation and partnerships.
This partnership supports some of the activities implemented by Advanced Science and Partnerships for Integrated Resource Development Project (ASPIRED). ASPIRED is a three-year joint initiative aimed at developing consistent policy and technical solutions for a more regulated use of vital groundwater resources. The project focuses on closing data gaps, improving technical capacities and tools for informed decision-making, increasing access to innovative water conservation and energy efficiency technologies, and promoting regulatory and enforcement mechanisms.
The new system now benefits roughly 120 local households and irrigates 40 hectares of land that had been left idle for two decades due to insufficient water supply. The project will assist the community in establishing a public-private partnership with the fish farm to support the more responsible use of groundwater in the Ararat Valley in the years to come.
- 1.1m m3 strategic groundwater resources saved annually
- 40ha soil prevented from degradation
- 120 local households benefit from the project
ASPIRED contributed by improving the management of natural resources and reducing groundwater extraction.
Apart from water savings, the project also solves the socio-economic issue that causes migration in the community by creating an opportunity for agricultural development.
During a public event on May 22, 2017 Coca‑Cola HBC Armenia, USAID and the Global Environment Facility’s Small Grants Programme in Armenia marked the successful completion of the first phase of ASPIRED project in Hayanist, Ararat.
In its second phase ASPIRED project will create a geo-coded, real time, publicly open data system for the Ararat valley comprising integrated water resource datasets which are currently held by multiple stakeholders. A tool for hydrogeological modeling and decisions support will be created, together with a publicly accessible system to produce reports based on high-quality, real-time monitoring data. In partnership with the Government of Armenia and other stakeholders, the ASPIRED project will develop the plan for decentralised sustainable groundwater resource monitoring in the Ararat artesian basin.