Azerbaijan, Baku, September 14 /Trend, T.Jafarov/
There should be about 32 billion cubic meters of water in Urmia Lake, but half of the lake has shallowed, Iranian Energy Minister Hamid Chitchiyan said while visiting the lake, ISNA News Agency reported on Saturday.
Less water remained in the lake, the salinity has extremely increased and continuation of this situation will create serious problems, Chitchiyan said.
The working group which was created to save Urmia Lake has chosen around 12 priority projects the implementation of which has already begun, the minister stressed.
It should be noted that the area of Urmia Lake is about 6,000 square kilometers. The lake becomes a temporary shelter for migratory birds in the period of their migration. Urmia shallows due to continuous drought which has an impact on the region's flora and fauna.
In September 2011, the Iranian government allocated around $900 million to prevent the lake's shallowing. UN Development Program (UNDP) has allocated around $135 million for Iran to address the environmental problems of the shallowing Urmia Lake.
But the funds allocated by the government in 2011 were not used for the envisaged purposes and no funds were allocated for any project in 2012, Iranian Energy Minister said.
Do you have any feedback? Contact our journalist at email@example.com