Official: Transferring water to drying lake Urmia unprofessional
Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct. 5 / Trend, N. Umid, S. Isayev
The plans for reviving the Lake Urmia are almost specified, the head of Iran's Environmental Protection Organization, Masoumeh Ebtekar said, Iranian IRINN State TV reported.
She went on to note that, the Organization does not agree with plans of transferring water from Caspian Sea or Aras River to Lake Urmia.
Ebtekar said that, these plans are unprofessional due to economic and environmental factors, adding that, of Iran's Environmental Protection Organization is interested strategy that is compatible with region's ecology.
Revising the water consumption patterns in the region's agriculture sector is necessary for saving the lake, she added.
"For 30 years, Lake Urmia has been deprived of attention. As a result of construction of dams and climate change, some 70 percent of the lake has dried up and all forces should be mobilized for rescuing the lake," the head of the West Azerbaijan province, Vahid Jalalzade said on September 24 during a TV debate at the first channel of Iranian state television.
Iranian MP, Mansour Hagigatpur noted that Lake Urmia is missing 14 million cubic meters of water.
Hagigatpur named the increase sowing areas from 110,000 hectares to 450,000 hectares, the construction of dams, the occurrence of more than 30,000 water wells around as the main reasons of this situation.
Hagigatpur also said that the drying up of Lake Urmia will put over half a million people, using the lake's waters, in danger.
On September 21, Iranian media outlets quoted deputy Director of Iran's Water Resources Management Company, Yaqoub Hemmati as saying 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.
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.