Lake Urmia’s water level increases by 650mn cubic meters

URMIA, Apr. 27 (MNA) – The volume of the water at Lake Urmia, northwestern Iran, has reached 5 million cubic meters, indicating a 650 million-cubic-meters rise compared with the corresponding date of the last year, a senior official said.

Head of Lake Urmia Restoration Project Farhad Sarkhosh said Monday that the lake’s level currently stands at an elevation of 1,271.8 meters above sea level, which is 21 centimeters more than the water level on the corresponding date of last year, thanks to the heavy precipitations in the past months.

“The lake is now covering some 3,178 square kilometers of land, indicating a 142 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 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/4910710

News Code 158073

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