Azerbaijan, Baku, May.7/ Trend F.Karimov/
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has issued a special order for speeding up efforts to restore Lake Urmia, the Mehr News Agency reported.
The president has requested that the energy ministry take advantage of all available capacities to save the lake.
Lake Urmia in northwest Iran, is experiencing its worst drought condition for many years, where over 70 per cent of its water has dried up. The level has been declining since 1995.
Officials say if the current restoration efforts are not effective, the lake will be turned into a swamp within four years.
In October 2012, Environment Protection Organisation director Mohammad Javad Mohammadizadeh said during the Iranian calendar year which ended on March 19, 2012, about two billion cubic meters of water were transferred to the lake.
Currently, only a third of the lake is filled with water and the rest is dry.
Lake Urmia needs 3.1 billion cubic meters of water per year to survive. The Iranian government allocated $900 million for this purpose in September 2011, but the rescue plans have not begun.
Lake Urmia is the third largest salt water lake on earth with a surface area of approximately 5200 square kilometres.
Experts say construction of dams on rivers feeding the lake and also droughts have significantly decreased the annual amount of water the lake receives. They also say that construction of a bridge across the lake has upset its ecological balance.