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Ararat River Basin

People, Planet, Prosperity Armenia Pilot Project: Mainstreaming Natural Capital in River Basin Management

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This project will integrate the role natural ecosystems play in ensuring ground and surface water quality and quantity into the Ararat River Basin Management Plan (RBMP), to better address significant sources of risk (such as land transformation and degradation, and climate change); it will also highlight opportunities for enhancing water security through management of natural capital in the basin. This information will be used to target investments in key ecosystems, such as conserving or restoring forested areas or wetlands near water sources. Key collaborators: Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Armenia Ministry of the Environment (ARM). This is an initial pilot project within the People, Planet, Prosperity project.

Armenia Pilot Project

The Challenge

Water quantity and quality in the rivers of the Ararat Basin in Armenia have been declining, and overall, natural ecosystems have been degraded due to unsustainable groundwater use and infrastructure development, as well as climate change impacts. Much of the country’s agriculture and aquaculture is located in this region.

The Solution

The project team will map current and future contributions of nature for replenishing water resources using the InVEST Seasonal Water Yield Model on a national scale and in a changing climate. They will then perform a deep dive on seasonal water yield in the Ararat Basin Management Area, including mapping different water users (beneficiaries), to inform the Ararat RBMP. This will help ADB target investments for sustainable watershed development, using science-based information on where and how natural systems support water security. These approaches can safeguard water quality by enhancing the natural systems that reduce erosion, filtering pollutants, and supporting dry season flows, thereby boosting the country’s water security.

Funding:  Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

Project Category: Sustainable development 
Project Status: Current

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