Iran allocates $8.9 million to revival of Lake Urmia
Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb.7
By Fatih Karimov - Trend:
Iran has allocated 220 billion rials (about $8.9 million) to the revival of Lake Urmia in the next Iranian calendar year which starts on March 21, the Mehr News Agency quoted the head of Iran's Environmental Protection Organisation, Masoumeh Ebtekar as saying on February 6.
She added that a final approach to save the lake will be declared by the end of the spring. The organisation will then start its action plan.
Many solutions have so far been proposed, but we cannot trust one and act based on it alone because we have not had any similar experiences in the past, she noted.
On October 5, Ebtekar said the department does not agree with plans to transfer water from the Caspian Sea to Lake Urmia.
Meanwhile, on September 24, 2013, head of the West Azerbaijan province, Vahid Jalalzade, said: "For 30 years Lake Urmia has been neglected. As a result of dam construction and climate change, some 70 percent of the lake has dried up and all forces should be mobilised for its rescue."
On August 19, 2013, the official website of the Iranian president reported that President Rouhani was to establish a working group to tackle the issue of saving Lake Urmia.
The work group was commissioned to use the background of already conducted studies and technical research work in the field and to present their proposals for saving the 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 5200 square kilometres.