The Aghstev River flows for 133 kilometres, originating in the Tavush region of north-eastern Armenia. It runs through Armenia and Azerbaijan and is a tributary of the Kura River, which flows through Georgia and Armenia. Several cities and towns are built on the Aghstev’s banks, including the resort town of Dilijan, Armenia.
Dilijan’s many historic sites and the beauty of its natural surroundings make it ideal for tourism. However, until recently, pollution in the Aghstev hampered the local tourism industry. Dilijan’s antiquated sewage system discharged directly into the Aghstev, resulting in pollution levels of as much as 1.2 to 1.5 times the norm. Sewage pollution, combined with solid waste, hinders Dilijan’s ability to meet its sustainable tourism potential and creates a grave sanitation problem.
What is the objective?With support from the Every Drop Matters Regional Water Partnership, the city of Dilijan is constructing a new wastewater treatment system that will significantly improve sanitation conditions locally and downstream. At the same time, Dilijan residents are developing an understanding of the importance of protecting their valuable river. The long-term vision of the Aghstev project is to ensure the environmental sustainability of the river as it passes through Dilijan and to spur tourism and local economic development.