Mar 29, 2020, 1:10 PM
Journalist ID: 2374
News Code: 83731695
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Official: Iran's Urmia Lake water surface enlarging

Orurmiyeh, March 29, IRNA – The water surface of Urmia Lake is enlarging with a volume of 1,540,000,000 cubic meter showing growth compared to the same period last year.

Speaking to IRNA, Head of Lake Urmia Restoration Project Farhad Sarkhosh said that level of water has increased by over 4,290,000,000 cubic meters.

He added that Urmia Lake’s width has also increased to over 3,023 km.

Lake Urmia, located between East and West Azarbaijan provinces, was once the largest salt-water lake in the Middle East. It is habitat to many migratory and indigenous animals, including flamingos, pelicans, egrets and ducks and attracts hundreds of tourists every year who had bathed in the water to take advantage of the therapeutic properties of the lake.

Urmia Lake began shrinking in the mid-2000s due to decades of long-standing drought spells and elevated hot summer temperatures. According to international statistics, the lake lost about 80% of its waterbed by 2015.

In a coordinated effort to save the lake in 2013, Iran started a joint project with the UN Development Program (UNDP) funded jointly by the Iranian and the Japanese governments. The revival efforts therefore focused on redirecting rivers to irrigate farmland, thus avoiding use of water from the lake, and the promotion of more sustainable farming methods.

The provincial environment officials hoped that the lake would reach its ecological level by 2025.

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