Mass of farm water to be dedicated to Lake Urmia restoration

News ID: 3871427 -
TEHRAN, Jan. 09 (MNA) – Deputy energy minister said approximately 1.2 billion cubic meters of water per year will be led to Lake Urmia following a 40% reduction in agricultural water use in the lake’s catchment area.

Iran's Deputy Energy Minister Rahim Meidani expounded on the role of Kordestan province in restoration of Lake Urmia saying “the government is pursuing the issue of saving Lake Urmia while implementation of developmental projects in the agricultural sector and excessive water consumption could interfere with the restoration scheme.”

He asserted that Ministry of Energy had defined various strategies through which provinces could simultaneously help save the northwestern lake as well as follow up their developmental plans.

The official, while noting that alternative procedures will be completed early in the next Iranian calendar year (to begin March 21), said “the most significant measure on the agenda of Lake Urmia Restoration Commission (LURC) is to lower farm water use by 40 per cent which paves the path for about 1.2 billion cubic meters of gas to enter the endangered lake on an annual basis.”

“Yet one more plan by LURC pertains to prevention of illegal recovery from the catchment area of Lake Urmia,” maintained Meidani who later commented that the measure required cultural and social activities, improvement of irrigation methods not to mention water and soil management in farm and orchards.

Deputy Iranian energy minister called for allocation of a fair share of water resources to restoration of Lake Urmia concluding that all involved parties had to pull their weights.

In the late 1990s, Lake Urmia, in north-western Iran, was twice as large as Luxembourg and the largest salt-water lake in the Middle East. Since then it has shrunk substantially, and was sliced in half in 2008.

So far, several domestic and foreign institutions have voiced readiness to join hands in restoration of the Iranian landmark which is an endorheic salt lake in Iranian Azerbaijan, Iran and near Iran's border with Turkey.

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