Rain fall in catchment of drying Lake Urmia increases by 44%
Baku, Azerbaijan, June 6
Precipitation in the catchment of Lake Urmia, located between Eastern and Western Azerbaijani provinces of northwestern Iran, witnessed a rise by 44.5 percent increase.
According to data released by Iran’s energy ministry on June 6, total rainfall in the catchment reached 395.6 millimeters from the beginning of the current crop year, which started on September 22, 2017.
Compared to the long-term average precipitation (49 years), total precipitation in Iran indicates a rise by 24.2 percent.
Concerns over drying the lake have increased as its volume has dropped to less than 10 percent of its original and over 70 percent of its area has dried up in recent years. The level has been declining since 1995. Its area is about 6,000 square kilometers. Lake Urmia needs 3.1 billion cubic meters of water per year to exist.
According to the ministry data Iran experienced 164 millimeters of precipitation from the beginning of the current crop year, averagely.
The figure indicates a 27.2 percent decline compared to the precipitation in the same period of the preceding year, and a fall by 29.9 percent compared to the long-term average precipitation.
The highest rainfall was registered in Lake Urmia catchment with 395.6 millimeters (44.5 percent increase), followed by Caspian Sea catchment (358.5 millimeters, 13 percent of increase), Persian Gulf and Oman Sea (211.2 millimeters), Karakum (141.5 millimeters), Central plateau (101 millimeters) and East Border Areas (40.1 millimeters) catchments.
The Islamic Republic is located in an arid zone and the country is facing a serious water shortage crisis.
However, many experts believe that the current water shortage is a result of mismanagement of water resources, rather than drought.