Azerbaijani institutions release statement in unison over situation at Sarsang Reservoir

Society Materials 25 August 2023 14:42 (UTC +04:00)
Asif Mehman
Asif Mehman
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BAKU, Azerbaijan, August 25. The Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources, the Ministry of Agriculture and the State Agency of Water Resources of the Republic of Azerbaijan have made a joint statement in connection with the situation at the Sarsang Reservoir, Trend reports.

The statement says that the Sarsang reservoir on the territory of Azerbaijan, created in 1976 on the Terterchay river and currently located in the zone of temporary deployment of the Russian peacekeeping contingent, has been purposefully used for more than thirty years by Armenia and the forces acting under its patronage as a means of environmental and socio-economic terror.

"At present, the reservoir is in an emergency state and poses a serious threat to settlements, farms, and infrastructure facilities located in the territory downstream of the reservoir. The relevant resolution No. 2085, adopted by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on January 26, 2016, regards Armenia's actions as environmental aggression aimed at creating humanitarian and environmental problems for the citizens of Azerbaijan. The document emphasizes that the improper use of the Sarsang reservoir may lead to a major disaster, including numerous human casualties and a new humanitarian crisis. At the same time, the Assembly called on the Armenian authorities to stop using water resources as a tool of political influence or pressure. The improper use of the Sarsang reservoir with a total water capacity of 560 million cubic meters continues to cause serious damage to the environment, human health, and the ecosystem of the region as a whole," the statement reads.

The disregard for ecological, including climatic, factors in reservoir use was emphasized, leading to further aggravation of ecological risks when the water level drops. This situation negatively affects fauna and flora, leads to reduction of fish resources, loss of natural habitats for birds, intensification of soil erosion processes, desertification, and disturbance of ecosystem balance as a whole.

"Armenia and the forces acting under its patronage, along with environmental aggression, have caused significant damage to the economy of Azerbaijan by preventing the supply of water from the reservoir in seasons when soil irrigation is necessary in the territories of Terter, Aghdam, Barda, Goranboy, Yevlakh, and Agjabadi districts, which have great agricultural potential and fertile land resources. Due to the water shortage caused by the non-use of Sarsang reservoir for direct purposes, 100,000 hectares of sown areas in these districts cannot be involved in active agricultural turnover. At the same time, the intensive use of groundwater to meet the population's needs for drinking water has led to a violation of the balance of natural resources," the statement says.

At the same time, it calls on Armenia to refrain from actions that lead to violations of basic human rights, degradation of the region's ecosystem, and the death of fauna and flora.