Armenia - Building Groundwater Management Capacity for the Ararat Valley

Science Center Objects

Project Period: 2016-17
Cooperator: U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)
Project Chief: Joshua Valder

Executive Summary

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is assisting USAID Armenia in the implementation of its Science, Technology, Innovation & Partnerships (STIP) ‘Signature Effort’, the Advanced Science & Partnerships for Integrated Resources Development (ASPIRED) program. The USGS is providing scientific information useful to the determination of a more sustainable strategy of groundwater resource management and use in the Ararat Valley, Armenia (figure 1).

The growth of aquaculture in the Ararat Valley has been accompanied by increased withdrawal of groundwater, and, in many places, a loss of artesian conditions (figure 2).  The aquaculture demand is relatively new, but is in addition to other municipal, irrigation, energy and industrial uses.  The goal of ASPIRED is to reduce the rate of groundwater extraction in the Ararat Valley to more sustainable levels.  ASPIRED was launched in December 2015.  USGS will work with USAID Armenia, USAID’s Global Development Lab, and their associates to develop scientific tools that groundwater-resource managers can use to understand and predict the consequences of their resource management decisions.

Objectives and Scope

The objectives for this study are: (1) to characterize the hydrogeologic framework and conditions in the Ararat Valley; (2) to summarize groundwater resources in the Ararat Valley and begin to design a groundwater monitoring network; and 3) to provide technical workshop(s) to build expertise in country for managing groundwater resources.  The hydrogeologic framework may include descriptions of the aquifer materials and aquifer boundaries, which include the areal extent and the aquifer tops and bottoms. All efforts would be undertaken in partnership with USAID Armenia’s associates, including the ASPIRED implementing partner and partners and the USAID Global Development Lab and GeoCenter. 

Map of Armenia
Figure 1. Location of the Ararat Valley, Armenia. Map courtesy of USAID GeoCenter.
Ground Water Conditions
Figure 2. Change in area of artesian groundwater conditions from 1984 to 2013 in the Ararat Valley, Armenia. Map courtesy of Brian Baker, USAID GeoCenter.