Iranians transport water to animals near Lake Urmia daily
Azerbaijan, Baku, July 28/ Trend M. Moezzi
Water is being transported to animals living on the islands in Iran's devastated Lake Urmia.
Hassan Abbasnejad Bayan heading Western Azerbaijan Province's Department of the Environment said animals living on Lake Urmia's islands urgently needed the water transported to them in plastic gallon jugs, the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reports.
Every day, 1,500 litres of water is being transported to Espir Island, Abbasnejad said.
He added that proposals of transporting water to the island via a pipeline are being studied as a permanent solution to the problem.
Lake Urmia has 102 islands with animals, including the Iranian yellow deer and the Armenian ram, living on nine of them.
Lake Urmia covers about 6000 square kilometres. During bird migration the lake becomes their temporary haven. Prolonged drought occurring in the Urmia shallows affects the flora and fauna of the surrounding region. Environmental specialists noted that measures taken by the Iranian government are not enough to save the lake.
Illegal use of water from the lake by rural population, the construction of dams and illegal structures on its banks, is also among the problems of the Lake Urmia.
During the visit to Tabriz in 2010, Iran's president and government officials approved the project to direct 600 million cubic meters of water from Araz River to the desert near Tabriz.
Currently, each litre of water in Lake Urmia contains 330 grams of salt. Previously, the figure stood at 160-170 grams per litre. The salt concentration increases because one-third of the lake dried up and actually turned into salt marshes.