Azerbaijan, Baku, Sept. 21 / Trend N. Umid /
Water input to the catchments of the Lake Urmia has decreased by 46 percent compared to the long-term average value which indicates that reviving Lake Urmia is impossible, deputy Director of Iran's Water Resources Management Company, Yaqoub Hemmati said, IRNA news agency reported.
He also went on to note that Lake Urmia's water level has dropped by 25 centimeters compared to the last solar year (ended on March 21) and its area has decreased by 93 square kilometers.
On September 13, Iranian Energy Minister Hamid Chitchiyan said while visiting the lake that "there should be about 32 billion cubic meters of water in Urmia Lake, but half of the lake has become shallow".
Less water remained in the lake, the salinity has extremely increased and continuation of this situation will create serious problems, Chitchiyan added.
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.
On August 19, the official website of the Iranian president reported that President Rouhani establish a working group to tackle the issue of saving the Urmia Lake.
The work group was commissioned to use the background of the already conducted studies and technical research work in the field and to present their proposals for saving the Urmia Lake to the government within a two-month period.
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.
Lake Urmia is the third largest salt water lake on earth with a surface area of approximately 5,200 square kilometers.
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