AUA Panel Discussion: Water Safety in Armenia


July 22, 2004

American University of Armenia Corporation
300 Lakeside Drive, 4th Floor
Oakland, CA 94612
Telephone: (510) 987-9452
Fax: (510) 208-3576

Contact: Gohar Momjian
E-mail: [email protected]

Water Safety in Armenia

Yerevan – The Environmental Conservation and Research Center of the American
University of Armenia and the Caucasus Environmental NGO Network, Yerevan
Office hosted a free Environmental Panel Discussion on July 14, 2004,
focusing on Water Safety and Water Supply in Armenia.

Based upon the Yerevan Water Company’s findings, there were only about 30
violations for bacterial contamination among the more than 10,000 samples
taken last year. Panelists included Dr. Vladimir Davidyants, Chief Sanitary
Doctor of the Republic of Armenia, Ministry of Health, Mr. Richard Walkling,
Chief Executive Officer, Yervodokanal (Yerevan Canal Company), Mr. Eduard
Mesropyan, Director, JINJ Environmental Consulting, and Dr. Charles Dunlap,
Director, Environmental Conservation and Research Center, American
University of Armenia. They raised some concern that these samples may not
fully represent the quality of water that many people are drinking because
the samples were not taken in the upper floors of buildings. However, it
was noted that if the low levels of bacterial contamination in Yerevan are
correct, this represents a dramatic improvement in the 15% contamination
rate measured by AUA in 1995.

`Although Yerevan appears to have safer water than it did seven years ago,
Ministry of Health data continue to show a 20-30% rate of bacterial
contamination in Armenia’s rural water supplies,’ stated Dr. Charles Dunlap,
Director of AUA’s Environmental Conservation and Research Center. The
panel discussion led to a commitment on improving public information on
water testing carried out by the Ministry of Health and the Yerevan Water
Company. The Ministry of Health committed to establishing a web site where
findings could be publicly available, and the Yerevan Water Company also
agreed to disseminate its data upon request.

AUA’s Environmental Research and Conservation Center has an ongoing interest
in the conservation of Armenia’s surface water quality and research into
health threats from drinking water contamination. In 2002, the Center
designed and specified the equipment and procedures for a $500,000 water
quality laboratory being built by USAID in the Ministry of Nature
Protection. In 2003, the Center constructed a scientific research laboratory
at AUA dedicated to water quality analysis. The lab is currently supporting
a project to independently assess the safety of Yerevan drinking water
samples collected from homes throughout Yerevan.

The Environmental Conservation and Research Center conducts research into
conservation, ecology, environmental contamination, and sustainable
development in the Republic of Armenia, and serves the community through
education outreach programs and collaboration with local scientists and
organizations. ECRC is funded by the generous support of Mr. Sarkis Acopian.

AUA is registered as a non-profit educational organization in both Armenia
and the United States and is affiliated with the Regents of the University
of California. Receiving major support from the AGBU, AUA offers
instruction leading to the Masters Degree in eight graduate programs. For
more information about AUA, visit or For more
information about the AUA Environmental Conservation and Research Center

Picture: At AUA, environmental experts and health officials discuss Armenia
‘s water quality and safety.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress