Water & Energy
USAID has helped Armenia to achieve measurable progress in the energy and water sectors. Physical infrastructure upgrades have been accompanied by institutional and regulatory reform – especially in the energy sector – that have increased transparency, accountability and self-reliance. Today, USAID Armenia’s programs are focused on (a) completing the next stage of reforms, (b) institutional development of the governing and regulatory bodies, and (c) ensuring the delivery of safe, reliable, affordable and accessible public services. Protection of the environment is one of the most important factors during the selection and implementation of projects.
Overall, USAID’s program is helping Armenia to develop an efficient, reliable and cost-effective energy sector to support its emerging market economy. The challenges to the country’s vulnerable energy security are increases in the price of natural gas imports, Armenia’s aging nuclear power plant Metzamor (which provides about 42% of the country’s electricity), and the lack of energy supply diversification. To help Armenia achieve energy security, USAID supports efforts to secure diversified sources, including nuclear and renewables, and promote investment to ensure efficient and economically sustainable usage at the national and regional levels.
Reforms in Armenia’s water sector have progressed in recent years. However, significant challenges remain. These deficiencies are most acute in rural and isolated communities where water supply and quality are inadequate. Half of the country’s water distribution network is more than 30 years old and suffers from constant and substantial losses. Many rural water networks receive only a few hours of water per day or week. Backed by World Bank, KfW, Asian Development Bank (ADB) and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) loans, the Government of Armenia has significantly improved the operation and performance of five water companies. Nevertheless, more than 550 villages in mountainous areas are currently not connected to the centralized water system nor assisted by these loans for rehabilitating the existing or installing new water systems.
USAID’s water sector activities support the development of an efficient and sustainable water resources management system as well as water supply rehabilitation in targeted rural areas through small scale infrastructure projects. USAID also supports the development of a waste water treatment facility in one of the country’s tourist resorts, Dilijan, through a partnership with the Government of Armenia, UNDP and Coca-Cola . In addition, a new partnership effort will help establish solid waste management systems in selected provinces and boost the collection and recycling of plastic containers to reduce pollution.
Assistance to the Energy Sector to Support Energy Security and Regional Integration (ESRI) program provides expert services to the Government of Armenia to ensure (1) that the new Nuclear Unit meets western safety and environmental standards; (2) that Armenia develops the human and institutional capacity to plan and successfully implement the project; and (3) that the contribution of the project to Armenia’s economic growth and development is maximized. The Program’s objectives also include improving the enabling environment for the development of renewable energy in Armenia, and supporting Armenia’s integration into regional energy systems and markets.
- Sep 2009-Nov 2012, $5.9 million. Implemented by TetraTech.
“Revive a River”: As part of this Global Development Alliance project, UNDP with the participation of the Municipality of Dilijan, the Coca Cola Corporation, and the Government of Armenia (through EBRD funding and Municipality of Dilijan) will install a wastewater treatment plant on Aghstev River. In addition, the sewage network and collectors will be either repaired or reconstructed. The project will also partner with the community as part of environmental and cultural heritage protection activities along the river.
- Sep 2009-Apr 2013, $3.5 million / USAID share: $200,000. Implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Collection & Recycling of Plastic Refuse public private partnership program is designed to improve the quality of potable water sources in Armenia by boosting the collection and mechanical recycling of plastic containers, specifically those made from polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which significantly contaminates water sources in Armenia. This activity is a partnership between USAID, UNDP, private sector entity Eco Engineering, and various micro- to small-sized enterprises to collect and process PET bottles and raise public awareness of the importance of proper disposal of the bottles.
- Feb 2011-Jan 2013, $540,000 / USAID share: $450,000. Implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Clean Energy and Water Project: The purpose of this project is to provide assistance to Armenia’s energy and water sector activities that will help improve the country’s energy and water security. To this end, the project will help promote integrated energy and water planning, advise the Government of Armenia on issues regarding sustainable hydropower development and water management, and help local communities and enterprises in selected water basins to improve the accessibility, quality and affordability of energy and water services.
- Sep 2011-Sep 2015, $5.7 million. Implemented by Mendez England & Associates (ME&A).