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Why There’s No Drinking Water in Armenian Village of Garni

The village of Garni in Kotayk marz (province), which supplies drinking water to some communities in Yerevan and Ararat marz, has a serious water problem. According to residents, only 20% of the village gets clean drinking water and then, at certain hours. Others fetch water in buckets from nearby springs. 

In conversation with Epress.am, village mayor Ashot Vardanyan said the water issue became more serious due to the shortage of water this year. According to the village head, if in previous years, 120 liters of water per second flowed from the mountains to the village, well this year, it was only 30 liters per second. 

According to Vardanyan, who has occupied the village head position since 1996, the last time there was such a drought was in 1997. "But there's no such thing, that people were left without water. We get the water to houses with motor engines — just not around the clock, [only] in the morning and evening hours," he said. 

The villagers' dissatisfaction that the water quality is poor is justified to some extent, said Vardanyan, claiming the reason is that the water pipes are too old and worn out.

"The water pipes haven't been changed since 1960. Now we're trying to change them. We've already built 10 of the 58 km. Construction work continues. In addition, the amount of water will increase next year, and the residents will no longer be dissatisfied, since a reservoir was built in Geghard, which will irrigate Geghard, while the water in our village will increase," he said.  

Garni inhabitants, however, argue that such promises are nothing new; they've been given before but have never been fulfilled. 

"There has been no drinking water in my house for 10 years. We give water to the whole world, [but] we have no drinking water ourselves. They say the water from Garni is the most delicious, but we don't get it," said one of the villagers, who requested anonymity.