Lake Urmia water rises 5-fold since drought

TEHRAN, Jun. 03 (MNA) – The volume of Lake Urmia water has been increased five times within the last four years, reaching 2 billion and 500 million cubic meters, with practical measures to revive it.

Governor of Iran's West Azerbaijan Province Ghorbanali Saadat said in 2013, Lake Urmia experienced the most critical situation in the last 20 years and the volume of water had reached 500 million cubic meters.

"With the implementation of practical measures to revive Iran's turquoise jewel, Lake Urmia, water volume has reached 2 billion and 500 million cubic meters," he underlined.

Connecting Zarrinehrood to Siminehrood, dredge of 290 km of canals and 60 km of rivers feeding the Lake, obstruction of 1600 illegal wells, modification of irrigation at 6200 hectares of farmland, and care measures for sand dune fixation at the edge of the Lake are among the most important administrative measures in this direction, Saadat noted.

The 35km tunnel to transport an annual 640 million cubic meters of water from Kani Sib to the Lake was another move to increase the water level at the world's second largest saline lake.

Lake Urmia, northwestern Iran, and once the largest lake in the Middle East and the sixth-largest saltwater lake on Earth with a surface area of approximately 5,200 square kilometers was facing a dramatic decline for some years. The Lake which was a major tourist attraction and a home to migratory birds had shrunk substantially.

Since its crisis, the government has taken measures trying to facilitate international cooperation to restore the Lake to its former glory.

LR/3995143

News Code 125725

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