there is no water in the apartments, fountains
are the saviors.
As Yerevan modernizes its water utility payment
service, officials face a dilemma concerning an
Public drinking fountains (called "pulpulacs")
bubble up from many street corners and yards throughout
the capital (as well as in other cities). But
now that residents are being required to pay for
measured amounts of their drinking water, who
will pay for the fountains?
"There will probably be some changes in
this field as well," says Press Secretary
of the Head of State Committee on Water Industry
Susanna Badalyan. "There are fountains and
people use them both in the center and in their
yards, however, someone must pay for that, mustn't
Badalyan assures that discussions were conducted
with the mayor of Yerevan for making that issue
clear. According to that decision, the fountains,
located on the territories belonging to nobody,
will completely remain under control of the department
on water conduits and canalization, however, an
issue of fountains located in the yards remains
"Today there is even no exact information
on how many drinking water fountains there are
in the republic so that we could know for sure
what we must do," Badalyan says. "By
force of habit Armenians on every sad occasion,
mainly in case of someone's death, decide to immortalize
the memory of the deceased and build fountains
with memorable inscriptions on them. However,
water flows and the department on water conduits
and canalization bears losses."
Historian Anahit Hovhannisyan says that any quick
decision to shut down the fountains could cause
great damages both to outward appearance of the
city and to its residents.
more fountains, the better: by closing one
the another doubles its generosity.
"Fountains and drinking water fountains
have always been the face of our city," she
says. "Every time tourists visit Armenia
they are surprised at the drinking water fountains."
Badalyan assures that the department on water
conduits and canalization will do everything possible
to make all waterworks and drinking water fountains
continue functioning, especially in the center
of the city. But they will have no control over
fountains located in the yards any more.
"There is an idea of installing nice taps
and it will allow to open, drink water and then
close a tap again," says Badalyan, "in
this case we can save water. I hope the same will
be done with fountains of the yards."
In Echmiadzin it is possible the imposed fee
on water will be the end of public fountains.
"Everything will be normal if residents
of buildings agree to install water meters on
fountains and pay for used water," says director
of department on water conduits and canalization
ltd. Karen Avagyan. "But if residents refuse
to do that then we will have to shut down fountains
because we can't pay for that."
"Residents of our district are mainly insolvent
and I don't think they will be able to pay for
fountains," says resident of Echmiadzin Zvartnots
district Nelly Woskanyan. "However, if we
don't have functioning fountains then residents
of many districts will be sentenced to no water
because we often have no water during many days
and we have to carry water in buckets from fountains.
And it's not clear what will happen with us in
Avagyan says that people won't be frugal if they
don't pay for fountains.
"Very often during his inspections in the
districts our coworker notices how uselessly fountains
throw water to the height of 3-4 meters,"
says Avagyan. "Somewhere else women are washing
carpets and wool with drinking water for hours.
Nobody saves either water or our work. In this
case the best solution is water meters and payments."