Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct. 30 / Trend T. Jafarov /
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has allocated $135 million to Iran to resolve environmental problems with shoaling Lake Urmia, Iran's Environment Protection Organisation director Mohammad Javad Mohammadizadeh said today.
MEHR agency reported that Mohammadizadeh said that the main problem with Iran's lakes, including Lake Urmia, Parishan and Hamun and some others is that much water of the rivers flowing into the lake are used indiscriminately. This leads to their becoming shallow.
According to the foreign media, UNDP has allocated $ 235 million to Iran, including 135 million to resolve the problems with Lake Urmia within the development programme for 2012-2016.
According to the official statistics, around 70 per cent of the Lake Urmia has become shallow. Currently, a litre of lake water contains up to 400 grams of salt. Previously, the volume of salt in a litre of water was 160-170 grams
The area of Lake Urmia is about 6000 square kilometres. Drying up of the lake has an impact on the flora and fauna of the region.
A project of directing 600 million cubic meters of water from the Araz River into Lake Urmia was launched during a visit of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and members of the government to Tabriz in 2010. It was planned to allocate $1.2 billion to implement this project.
The Iranian government allocated $900 million for this purpose in September 2011.
Protest actions were held in Tabriz and Urmia in connection with the shoaling of Lake Urmia in 2011. Dozens of Iranian Azerbaijanis were arrested.
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