Lake Urmia water level rises by 71cm

TEHRAN, Dec. 22 (MNA) – The water level at Lake Urmia, northwestern Iran, currently stands at an elevation of 1,271 meters above sea level, which is 71 centimeters more than the water level on the corresponding date of last year, a senior official said.

Head of Lake Urmia Restoration Project Farhad Sarkhosh said Sunday that the volume of water in the lake currently is estimated at 3.29 billion cubic meters, thanks to the strategic plans to revive the thirsty lake since the implementation of the project.

“The lake is now covering some 2,794 square kilometers of land, indicating a 747 square km increase since last year,” he added.

Shared between West Azarbaijan and East Azarbaijan provinces in northwestern Iran, Lake Urmia, was once the largest salt-water lake in the Middle East.

However, decades of long-standing drought spells and elevated hot summer temperatures that speed up evaporation as well as increased water demands in the agriculture sector shrank the lake drastically. In 1999 the volume of water which was at 30 billion cubic meters drastically decreased to half a billion cubic meters in 2013. Moreover, the lake’s surface area of 5,000 square kilometers in 1997 shrunk to one-tenth of that to 500 square kilometers in 2013.

During the last water year (September 2017- 2018), the lake’s water level raised by 174 centimeters which means 1271.96 meters above the sea level, however, it decreased by 73 centimeters during the summer due to evaporation and lack of water in the rivers.

MNA/IRN83603467

News Code 153599

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