Construction of Mastara Reservoir in Armenia (2015)
On 9 December, 2015 the EFSD Council endorsed the preliminary application and concept of the investment project in Armenia “Construction of Mastara Reservoir” for US$ 30.5 million with a proposed funding by the Fund in the amount of US$ 25.2 million.
The Project is designed to develop the irrigation infrastructure and increase availability of water for irrigated lands in the Armavir region of RA through (a) reduction of irrigation water costs; (b) ensuring stable supplies of irrigation water for de facto irrigated lands; © expansion of surface area of irrigated lands.
The Mastara reservoir is to be built in the Armavir region on the Selav-Mastara River, upstream of the end portion of the Armavir main channel. The reservoir will be filled by molten glacier water flows from Mount Aragats and by rain showers in spring. The total capacity of the reservoir will be 10.2 million m3, useful capacity — 8.2 million m3, the dam height will be equal to 30 m.
The second component of the program requires technological retrofitting of the WUAs “Shenik” and “Armavir” by upgrading deep-well pumping stations, which will remain operational upon completion of component 1, and further development of the power cost accounting system.
According to a preliminary assessment, the proposed construction of the Mastara reservoir through decommissioning of some of the currently operated deep-well pumps in the Aararat Valley and adopting gravity irrigation techniques, will enable:
- Improvement of water availability for 3,794 ha of de facto irrigated lands;
- Expansion of irrigated lands by 590 ha;
- Reduction of annual energy costs by 2.1 million kWh (US$232,000);
- Reduction of annual operating costs by US$65,000.
The above benefits will accrue to 4,400 households in 6 rural communities.
Furthermore, the Project will contribute to:
- Improvement of environmental sustainability (reduced risk of flooding and decreased extraction of ground water in the Ararat Valley;
- Reduction of water subsidies (due to lower costs of the irrigation water;
- Creation of new jobs (temporary employment in the increasingly more attractive farming sector);