Jun 8, 2020, 11:26 AM
Journalist ID: 2374
News Code: 83814137
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Official: Most of Urmia Lake revival plans to complete by year end

Tabriz, June 8, IRNA - Head of Plan and Budget Organization of Iran Mohammad Baqer Nobakht said the revival project of Urmia Lake is planned to complete by the end of the current Iranian calendar year (to end March 20, 2021).

He made the remarks while talking to IRNA upon arrival in capital city of East Azarbaijan province in northwest of the country Monday morning.

He said the major of the project which started six years ago will finish by the year end.

Nobakht said the project included phases to transfer water from Zab River to Urmia Lake.

He added that 26cm increase in level of the lake and 89 square km in its width indicated success of these plans in line with reviving Urmia Lake.

The senior government official further noted that Urmia Lake plans worth 10,000b tomans.
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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