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of June 29, 2002 No. ZR-373

(as amended on 08-04-2024)

Accepted by National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia on June 4, 2002

Chapter 1. General provisions

Article 1. The basic concepts applied in the Code

The concepts applied in this Code make the following sense:

national water inventory - waters of such quality and in such quantity which are required for satisfaction in the present and the future of basic needs of the person, and also for preserving water ecosystems and ensuring stable development and use of this water resource;

the used water resources - that part of water resources which can be distributed for consumption without reducing national water inventory;

water resources – all naturally recovered water inventories: surface and underground water;

water system - hydraulic engineering constructions on use of water resources (further - GTS) which cause change of water flow or are used for transfer of water resources, including (but without limiting) dams, dams, dikes, channels, tunnels, wells, water pipes, pumping points, treatment plants, water intakes, drainage systems, conduits, aqueducts, other water-collecting constructions, machines, the equipment, devices which are constructed, take place or used for crossing point, collection, transfer, distribution, water drainage, control, production of water, production of electricity, cleaning, use of water or collection of rainfall. For the purpose of of this Code water systems can include system in general or its separate parts;

the water relations - the relations arising in the field of the order, ownership, use of water resources, water systems including - water supply systems, drainage system and GTS or their part, and their protection;

person - the physical and (or) legal entity;

the notification of the population - the notification of concerned parties concerning impact of the offered activities published in means of seal with circulation at least than 1000 copies. The notification contains resolution statement on the offered activities or question and the multiple description of their possible impact, the place in which it is possible to examine the offered activities or the resolution, written notes on the offered activities or the resolution, the place to which notes, real terms of their representation, and also terms and the place of public hearings according to notes can be transferred;

public interest - such activities in the field of the water relations which main objective is usefulness to society;

water resources management - process of management of water resources, forming of the offer, planning, distribution of demand, effective use and monitoring, ensuring social and economic welfare and stability;

general water resources management – the management system based on accounting and interrelation of the water resources located within river basin, and live and lifeless subsystems of its catchment basin;

body for management and protection of water resources - the body subordinated to the ministry responsible for management and protection of water resources;

governing body of water systems - the body responsible for the organization of water use and drainage system, management of water systems, ensuring their safety and their protection authorized by the Government of the Republic of Armenia;

Council on regulation of activities of societies of water users and the unions of societies of water users - body under the Government of the Republic of Armenia;

The regulating commission – the body created by the Law of the Republic of Armenia "About regulating authority of public services";

national water policy - the concept of perspective development of strategic use and protection of water resources and water systems;

The national water program - the main document on perspective development of management and protection of water resources and water systems on which the tasks established by this Code are performed;

the plan of basin management - the comprehensive document of basin management describing those the actions for management and protection performed in the pool which are necessary for realization of the purposes of this Code;

The state water inventory - permanent system which registers comprehensive data on quantitative and qualitative indexes of water resources, on structure and regulations of the substances, bioresources got in beds and on coast of water-collecting reservoirs, pools on water users, about permissions to water use;

monitoring of water resources – system of collection, the processing of the regulated observations concerning water resources (hydrogeological, hydrological, hydrophysical, hydrochemical and hydrobiological) obtained in their result of information, quality and quantitative standard of water resources and forecasting of changes and provision of information on situation of water resources;

water use - water intake from water resources, including getting of underground fresh water, or its reducing different way, water accumulating, blockage or shift of water flow, pollution of water resource, dumping into water resource of sewage, accumulating in it hazardous substances in such a way which can make harmful effects on water resource, and also change of bottom, coast, flow or properties of water resource;

the water user – person performing water use;

fund of protection of water resources – the financial funds transferred by the water users performing reservoir through well into the off-budget account opened in the Central Treasury addressed to Governing body and protection of water resources which go for preservation or liquidation of wells after production of underground waters;

permission to water use - the document including the rights and obligations of faces tied with water intake from water resource, including getting of underground fresh water, repeated (secondary) water use and return of water to it;

free water use - the water use which is not requiring permission to water use;

water supply – water supply to the sphere of water use in necessary quantity and the corresponding quality provided to water users from water resources;

water disposal – process which allows to perform sewage disposal by means of systems of water disposal, their moving to structures of cleaning, cleaning and emission in water resource or provision for repeated (secondary) water use;

equal access to water supply and water disposal – the organization of services in water supply and water disposal which will provide equal access for water users, including for persons, vulnerable from the point of view of ensuring equal access to these services and included in the isolated groups;

the isolated and vulnerable groups from the point of view of ensuring equal access to water supply and water disposal – groups which include the physical persons experiencing difficulties when implementing the rights to supply with drinking water and water disposal;

the non-competitive supplier of water - person rendering non-competitive services - the commercial organization rendering delivery services of drinking water to water disposal on centralized system of water disposal (sewage treatment) or irrigation which has no or cannot have competitors;

system of non-competitive water supply - the GTS system which primary purpose is accumulating of waters supply with drinking water, the sewage treatment and rendering irrigational services to the population rendered by means of which services are provided in the single sort;

the water user - the person who is carrying out water intake, collection of water and (or) supplying with it water consumers;

public administration - transfer by governing body of water systems of right to use of water systems to the legal entities having share (shares), component of 100 percent of state-owned property;

private management - transfer by governing body of water systems of right to use of water systems to the individual entrepreneurs and (or) legal entities who do not have share (shares), component of 100 percent of state-owned property;

management of irrigational water supply - requirements imposed to water users in the field of demand for irrigating water, its planning, supply by it and its distributions;

the concession treaty - the general agreement on assignment of rights of use concerning water system or its part;

the earth of water fund - the lands allocated for use and protection of water systems;

the managing director of water system - person to whom the right to use and the obligation on protection of water system are in accordance with the established procedure transferred;

weight coefficient - percentage or absolute value by means of which the winner of tender is determined;

transboundary water resources - the superficial and (or) underground water resources crossing frontier, designating frontier or lying on it, bottom and coast of the site of one of sides of the differentiating (demarcation) line of which belong to the Republic of Armenia;

water standards - qualitative and quantitative indices of waters and the requirement, necessary for preserving quantity of water resources (including and national water resource) and improvements of quality of water resources;

regulation of quality of water – combination of the qualitative indexes of water characteristic of natural features of superficial or underground water body or the river basin and following from them;

self-cleaning of superficial water resources – improvement of quality of water of superficial water body, caused interconnected natural (physical, chemical and biological) processes in superficial water bodies;

rate – the price established by the Regulating commission for rendering services in water supply or drainage system (sewage treatment);

indicators of safety of GTS - the risk cost of accident rate of GTS and conditions of their use;

pollution - the direct or mediated change of physical, chemical or biological properties of water resource owing to what it becomes:

of little use for that useful purpose which could be expected in case of its use, or

harmful or perhaps harmful to welfare, health or safety of people, water or nonaqueous organisms, qualities or properties of water resources. Pollution includes also accumulation in water resource of bodies, foreign to this ecosystem, (contamination);

depletion of water resource - such reducing and (or) change of quality of amount of water or water flow in case of which there is violation of the balanced ecological condition of water resource;

protection of waters - actions for prevention and elimination of pollution and depletion of waters;

sewage - the waters contaminated owing to use of water resources in the production or household purposes and also the rain, thawed or drainage snow which are following from the territories of settlements, objects of economic or other activity, not conforming to requirements of maximum permissible dumping which flow down in water resource;

the threshold limit value - quantity of hazardous substance which availability does not make harmful effects on health of the person and does not attract emergence of adverse effects;

maximum permissible dumping - the normalized size of dumping established for source of pointed and (or) scattered pollution;

harmful effects of waters - flooding, erosion, flood, mudflows, flooding, destruction of coastal protective dikes and dams, increase in the horizons of ground waters, bogging and salinization of lands, education new, deepening of bed of old ravines, activation of the landslide phenomena, lack of water, drought;

total impact - collective impact on the environment which arises owing to change of condition of water resource and is observed along with impact of other processes;

cross-border impact - harmful effects for the environment which arise from change of condition of transboundary water resources if the source of change has anthropogenous character and is about one of the countries, adjacent with transboundary water resource, and its impact extends as well to the environment of other countries;

especially protected catchment basins and superwet territoriivodosborny pools and the superwet territories or their part which are considered important from the point of view of observance of water standards and require the relevant management, including catchment basins and the superwet territories or their part which from the point of view of observance of water standards have the international value;

water ecosystem - set of the relations between live and lifeless subsystems of water system and (or) its catchment basin;

conservation zones of water ecosystems:

zone of sanitary protection - zone of protection of the water resources used for the purpose of population requirements satisfaction in drinking water, medical, public, consumer services in the medical, resort and improving purposes;

zone of forming of current - the territory in which the river is created;

zone of protection of underground waters - the territories, vulnerable for underground waters;

the water protection zone - the territory established for the purpose of prevention of pollution and depletion of water resources, also providing the favorable water mode which is not subject to privatization and withdrawal;

ecotone - the interconnected transitional zone of water and overland ecosystems which includes the coastline and coastal strip;

zone of emergency ecological situation and ecological disaster in the water basin - the territory of emergency ecological situation and ecological disaster in the water basin;

inaliennable zone - the isolated territory having certain mode of use, recovery and protection of water supply systems, water disposals and GTS not privatizeable or to withdrawal;

ecological release - the minimum dumping of water providing ecological balance and self-recovery of water resource;

flood – temporary covering of sushi water as a result of natural process of water education of pouring rains or snow melting, and also damage of dams and other hydraulic engineering constructions;

risk of emergence of floods – combination of probability of emergence of floods and possible violation of living conditions and health of the person, the environment, cultural heritage, infrastructures, economic activity and natural conditions of life activity of people owing to floods and their negative impact;

regulation of use of water resources - establishment of rules of use of water resource, instructions for use of GTS, and also standard rates of the substances and bioresources got from water basins and also from them русл and coast;

regulation of protection of water resources - establishment of maximum permissible anthropogenous loadings, limiting establishment of amount of the sewage returned in water resource and limiting composition of the substances containing in them, establishment of ecologically safe standard rates of water use and water disposal, establishment of rules of protection of water resource, establishment in temporary section of regulations of the maximum fence and the minimum ecological releases of water from water resources;

water source – waters of the rivers, underground waters, waters of superficial local drain of the Republic of Armenia which gather in natural or artificial water storage basins, drainage waters of drying system;

irrigational water – the water resource used for the purpose of irrigation and conforming to standards of irrigational water which can be both superficial, and underground; 

irrigational system – part of water system of the Republic of Armenia which includes irrigational and drainage drainage systems, water utilities, aqueducts, dyuker, subways, flow accelerators, tunnels, drains, storm water outfall, pipelines, hydraulic engineering constructions, the artesian and gushing forth wells, pompovy stations, water storage basins, ponds, office roads with the exclusion zones, buildings and buildings, power lines and other infrastructures, including zones of protection of water ecosystems;

licensed person – person who obtained the license according to established by the Regulating commission rather in the field of rendering services in water supply or drainage system (sewage treatment);

the subscriber – person who signed with licensed person the service provision agreement on water supply or drainage system (sewage treatment) or person who addressed for the conclusion of the contract for rendering these services; 

rules of rendering services in drinking water supply or drainage system (sewage treatment) – the document approved by the Regulating commission which establishes rules and conditions of rendering to the subscribers licensed by person of services in providing with drinking water and drainage system (sewage treatment);

the confidential information concerning society – information or data on financial condition and trade secrets of licensed person which announcement can do much harm to licensed person, and also private data which concern the consumers provided with licensed person;

surface water – water (ditches, the rivers, lakes, ponds, the superwet territories, snegopokrytiya, glaciers) which proceeds or gathered on the Earth's surface;

underground waters - water (artesian, soil, natural source) which is in the rocks constituting crust in liquid or gaseous or firm state; 

underground fresh waters – waters with mineralization to 1 g/l;

the deep-well (prevailing) waters – the underground water divided in geological structure on waterproof rocks from above and from below, placed in dissect, porous or karst layer of rock which has pressure and when drilling its level stops above ceiling of water-bearing layer or gushes forth;

ground waters – the gravitational (mobile) waters with free surface located on the first waterproof layer from the Earth's surface;

natural source – constantly or temporarily operating natural exit of underground water on the Earth's surface or in the pool (underground source);

water balance – quantitative ratio of components of receipt and consumption of water within certain territory (pool) for certain interval;

superficial water body – unit of superficial water resource with physical and chemical, hydromorphological and biological characteristics, characteristic of it;

underground water body – accumulating of underwater waters in the hydrogeological structures having the forms characteristic of the mode of movement, food, accumulating, unloading of underground waters with the corresponding high-quality and quantitative properties;

risk water body – superficial or underground water body for which there is probability of not achievement of excellent or good shape of water body in this cycle of implementation of the plan of basin management or not preserving this condition;

strongly changed water body – superficial water body which physical and chemical, hydromorphological and biological characteristics significantly changed owing to activities of the person (owing to anthropogenous impact). They can carry both temporary, and permanent nature;

excellent condition of superficial water body – the condition which is not subjected to impact or subjected to insignificant impact owing to natural or anthropogenous impact of physical and chemical, hydromorphological and biological characteristics of superficial water body;

good shape of superficial water body – such condition of physical and chemical, hydromorphological and biological characteristics of superficial water body when negative change of ecosystem condition of water body is not observed, despite natural or anthropogenous impact;

the average condition of superficial water body – such condition of physical and chemical, hydromorphological and biological characteristics of superficial water body when change of ecosystem condition of water body which can independently improve, without anthropogenous impact is observed, and does not influence natural reproduction of biodiversity;


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