Prior to 2003, different institutions and agencies collected data on water resources in Armenia. However, the processing, use and interpretation of data were not easy. When data needed for water resources assessment are collected by a number of different organisations, their systems need to be compatible in terms of standards, quality assurance, electronic access and transfer. In order to facilitate a management of water resources, a general database might be established.
The State Water Cadastre (SWC) was initiated in the 2003 by the Armenian Water Resources Management Agency. The SWC was initiated according to Water Code demands for complete data of surface and ground waters, water users, water quality and water quantity.
The State Water Cadastre (SWC) is a permanent operating system. It maintains a comprehensive record of the following data:
Quantity and quality of water resources; Catchment areas; Materials extracted from water basins; Water intake; Composition and size of biological resources; Water users; Water use permits; Water system use permits.
The SWC is authorised and supported by the Water Code. The main functions of the SWC are to record documents and register assignments for planning, implementing and managing water resource monitoring. It also records water structures, such as dams, canals, reservoirs.
In the period of 2005-2006, the Government of Republic of Armenia, from the state budget and with the technical help of USAID, provided funding for development of the GIS component of the SWC and water balance applications.
The SWC provides preliminary data on the location, quantity and quality of water resources based on the type of water use. It offers to assess the type of water system used for water storage, transportation, distribution, treatment, and wastewater removal.
The SWC enables policy-makers to predict the sustainability of water resources, the security of water systems, and to warn of potential hazards and areas at risk.
Before initiation of the SWC, data on water resources were organised in the different authorities (e.g. data on ground waters was have been kept only in the Geological Fond, surface waters monitoring data have been kept in the ministries of agriculture and nature protection).
Through the establishment of the SWC, the development and processing of data necessary for water management decision making processing are getting easier. Better organisation of data provides for more accurate response to environmental challenges.
Importance of the case for IWRM
Hydrological and meteorological offices routinely collect data on elements of the hydrological cycle, and data links between different institutions are essential.
Water resource knowledge bases and links need to be built up considering the associated priority issues that have to be dealt with, such as human health, ecosystems health, land use impacts and forest cover, sectoral competition for water, vulnerability to floods and droughts.