Azerbaijan, Baku, Dec 26 /Trend T.Djafarov/
Iran conducted the first stage of negotiations with Azerbaijan on the direction of the Araz river water into the Lake Urmia, which requires a license, Iran's Deputy Energy Minister for Water and Rivers Muhammedreza Attarzadeh said, Mehr reported.
Attarzadeh did not specify the time and place for negotiations.
The water level in Lake Urmia has increased by three inches, but, nevertheless, measures to prevent drying of the lake must be taken.
The situation with the Lake Urmia began to improve for the past two month, Attarzadeh said.
Attarzade noted that a range of work, including discontinued construction of dams around the lake and negotiations about the direction of Araz river water in this reservoir are implemented to prevent shallowing of the lake.
Minister of Energy Majid Namdz said that Iran will use its portion of Araz river to the direct it to Lake Urmia.
"Araz River is a transboundary river, and on the existing contract, 50 percent of the length of the river accounts to Iran and 50 percent to Azerbaijan's share," Namdz said.
If Iran intends to use Araz water to remove shoaling of Urmia, it must agree this issue with Azerbaijan, Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Huseyn Bagirov told reporters.
The territory of Lake Urmia is about 6000 square kilometers The Lake becomes the temporary shelter of the birds during their migration. Lake Urmia gradually dehydrated and its area decreases because of the prolonged drought. This affects not only flora but also to the fauna.
Specialists in the Environment noted that the actions taken by the Iranian government aren't enough to save the lake.
During a visit to Tabriz, Iran's president and government officials approved the project on the direction of Araz river water in the desert near Tabriz. It is planned to send 600 million cubic meters of water from Araz to Urmia.
Currently, each liter of water in Lake Urmia has 330 grams of salt. Previously, the figure stood at 160-170 grams per liter. The salt concentration increasing is due to the fact that one-third of the lake dried up and actually turned into salt marshes.