By Ayya Lmahamad
The Committee for Natural Resources, Energy and Environment of the Parliament has held a session to discuss water shortage problems in Azerbaijan.
The committee head Sadiq Qurbanov said that the pollution of Araxes and Kura rivers aggravates water supply problems in Azerbaijan.
“The Caucasus [region] has only 310 billion cubic meters of water. Of this Azerbaijan has the lowest level of water per capital compared to the neighbouring countries. This is primarily due to the different location of water sources in our country. Pollution of our main water resources - the Araxes and Kura rivers - by neighboring countries also aggravates the situation. Azerbaijan has joined 17 conventions on water but unfortunately, neighboring countries Armenia and Georgia have not joined those conventions,” Qurbanov said.
Gorkhmaz Huseynov, head of Azersu OSJC, which is in charge of policy and strategy for the water supply and sanitation services in Azerbaijan, said that decrease in precipitation, increase in average annual temperature in recent years have lead to drought and the reduction of water resources. These have affected water supply to the population and provision of irrigation water to the agricultural sector.
He further spoke about the measures take to tackle the problem.
Huseynov noted fact that in recent decades a number of water sources have been built, which is 2.6 times more than in 1990.
“Population growth in Baku and prospects for tourism development also influence the water issue. During the period of 2013-2019, drinking water supply lines inside 7,390 buildings were renovated, communications were replaced in 3,350 buildings, and the sewerage system was renovated in 6,053 buildings with cellars and the cellars 3,055 buildings were renovated. Water quality is also improving from year to year,” he said.
Speaking about water shortages and causes of losses he stressed that "Examples of water consumption without meters can be given, including the wasteful use of water in the irrigation of green spaces, gardens, homesteads, as well as the existence of private networks that do not meet existing norms and standards.”
Moreover, Huseynov emphasized that water reserves in Azerbaijan are estimated at 30.9 billion cubic meters, out of which 33 percent are local inland waters and 66 percent are transboundary rivers, meaning that access to fresh water requires large investments.
Furthermore, he stated that in the period of 2010-2019, 44 new water sources with the capacity of 19 cubic meters per second were created in the country.
Additionally, he provided an information that there has been laid 140 km of main water pipelines, 2650 km of water supply network, 4860 km of internal lines, as well as restored 69 km of main water pipelines, built 14 reservoirs, and installed 402,000 water meters.
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