Baku, Azerbaijan, June 20
By Fatih Karimov - Trend: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has urged foreign experts to help the country revive the dying Lake Urmia.
Rahim Meydani, Iranian Deputy Energy Minister, said creating a canal which could reconnect rivers which have been detached from Lake Urmia is a solution, Iran's Fars news agency reported on June 20.
Nineteen solutions have been prioritized for the revival of Lake Urmia, Meydani added.
President Rouhani has said that the revival of the lake will take 10-15 years. Rouhani has established a working group to tackle the issue of saving the lake.
Earlier the head of Iran's Environmental Protection Organization, Masoumeh Ebtekar said that the Organization does not agree with the plan of transferring water from Caspian Sea or Aras River to Lake Urmia, saying these plans are unprofessional due to economic and environmental factors.
The situation over the Lake Urmia has been widely debated by the Iranian officials and experts.
Lake Urmia in north-west Iran is experiencing its worst drought in many years, where over 70 percent of its water has dried up. The level has been declining since 1995.
Officials have said if the current restoration efforts are not effective, the lake will be turned into a swamp within four years. Previous reports said Lake Urmia needs 3.1 billion cubic meters of water per year to survive.
Iran is located in an arid zone and the country has repeatedly faced drought in the past 40 years. The drought of 1992-2002 caused a major blow to agriculture. There were quotas imposed for fresh water in several cities, including Tehran.