Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct. 8/ Trend A. Gurbanova/
Iran halted basic studies of a dam construction near Lake Urmiya(Orumiyeh), Mehr News Agency quoted Energy Minister Majid Namjou as saying on Saturday.
"All studies on construction of a dam near Lake Urmiya have been stopped and the Energy Ministry plans to solve the issue," he said.
He noted that around 85 percent of problems in Lake Urmiya are caused by drought, which is natural inevitable phenomenon.
Namjou said earlier that Iran signed the agreement with northern neighbors to transfer water from its sector of the Araz River to Lake Urmiya.
Iranian government approved the assignment of $900 million to protect Lake Urmiya from drying up. This amount has been granted to transfer water from rivers in the Aras and Kurdistan provinces to Lake Urmiya.
"The lake's disappearance would leave behind it a residue of 10 billion tons of salt, which threatens the lives of 14 million citizens around the lake," Urmiya lawmaker Javad Jahangirzadeh said earlier.
Iran 's largest lake, Urmiya, dried up by almost one-third, the Director of the Iranian State Department for Lake Protection Ali Nazardust said earlier. Dams, rainfall shortages, and other negative factors have caused Lake Urmiya to dry up.
At present the lake's salinity level is at 330 percent, Nazardust said. Earlier the figure was 160-170 percent and the reservoir covered 5,000 square meters.
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