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On 19-20 June 2019, a training workshop was organised by the International Office for Water in Yerevan. The objective was to facilitate the application of a new method for calculating environmental flows.

Environmental flow assessments all over the Akhuryan basin will help establish measurements of rivers impacted by water over-abstraction, altered flow regimes, and other morphological modifications.

A chance to learn the latest methods for calculating environmental flows

The workshop was attended by 19 participants from the Water Resource Management Agency (WRMA) and its BMOs (Sevan, Hrazdan and Akhuryan), Water Committee, Hydro meteorological Service, Environment Monitoring Centre (EMIC), USAID, SEIS and local consultants involved in River Basin Management Planning (RBMP).

Lectures were given by international experts Vazken Andreassia (IRSTEA-France), Edgar Misakyan (head of Hydromet), Ashot Abgaryan (head of the WRMA-BMO Akhuryan), Benic Zakaryan (USAID), Vahagn TONOYAN (EUWI+) and Florence PINTUS (IOW).

For participants, it was a chance to learn about case studies outside of Armenia, and get more familiar with EU guidance in the field. Many discussions took place concerning how to carry out environmental flow assessments in line with the Appendix to Armenian Government Resolution No 57-N of 25 January, 2018. The remaining steps to reach full compliance with the WFD on environmental flow calculation were also discussed.

After the workshop, a field trip was organised to Zusakert (Argel), at a hydrological post on Hrazdan river, to demonstrate measurement processes.

Environmental flow: soft measure to address key water issues in River Basin Management Planning  

Given the urgent need to address water over-abstraction and recognise the close relation between water quantity and quality, River Basin Management Plans incorporate the notion of “environmental flow”, i.e. "the amount of water required for the aquatic ecosystem to continue to thrive and provide the services we rely upon".

To this end, it is vital to achieve a common understanding of environmental flow and calculate it in the same way. The principle thus acts as an additional assessment indicator for sustainable water resources management.

Legend picture 1: Training session/workshop in Yerevan