May 16, 2020, 11:22 AM
Journalist ID: 2374
News Code: 83788839
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Urmia Lake level on rise to 1,272m

Orumiyeh, May 16, IRNA - The head of the provincial office of the Headquarters for Revival of Urmia Lake in West Azarbaijan province said on Saturday that level of Urmia Lake is still on rise, adding that the level of the lake is now 1,272m.

Speaking to IRNA, Farhad Sarkhosh said level of the lake experienced 3cm rise compared with the last Iranian year.

He added that the volume of the water in Urmia Lake is now 5,250,000,000 cubic meters.

The figure had 90,000,000 cubic meters increase compared with the last year.

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 longstanding 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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