YEREVAN -- Armenia’s water provider has pledged to restore full supply in the nation’s capital, where residents have complained about water shortages amid a record heat wave that has hit the entire Caucasus region.
Veolia Djur, the Armenian unit of France-based Veolia, on July 6 said it would have water services restored by July 7 -- which coincidentally is the eve of Vardavar, a religious festival in Armenia during which people traditionally pour water on each other in the streets.
The company, which provides maintenance of water and sewage services nationwide, reported major breakdowns in the system that forced it to disconnect entire Yerevan neighborhoods from the water supply for several hours.
The difficulties came as temperatures in Yerevan and the rest of Armenia in recent days hovered around 40 degrees Celsius, adding to residents’ discomfort.
The heat wave is shattering temperature records and causing power outages in the other Caucasus nations of Azerbaijan and Georgia and in Iran. Temperatures reached 53 degrees in Iran.
Gor Grigorian, operations director at Veolia Djur, said the water supply to the whole of Yerevan will be restored by July 7.
“Sometimes breakdowns require much time to repair. In this incidence, it coincided with hot weather, a breakdown of pumps, and a breakdown of the water main,” said Grigorian.
The French company in 2016 won a 15-year contract worth about 800 million euros to provide all drinking and wastewater services in Armenia.
Before winning the nationwide contract, the company provided similar services to Yerevan for more than 10 years, employing some 1,200 people in the capital.