Dec 5, 2020, 10:34 AM
Journalist ID: 956
News Code: 84135081
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Urmia Lake revitalization in last stage

Orumiyeh, Dec 5, IRNA – Revival of Urmia Lake (Persian Daryācheh-ye Orūmīyeh) as the first concern of the Government and the northwestern people of the country has led to the vital plans for directing water to the lake at its final stage.

Dubbed 'Turquoise Solitaire of Azarbaijan' by Iranians, the lake had turned into a tarnished gem due to climate change, digging unauthorized wells for irrigation as well as miscalculated proliferation of dams
Before President Hassan Rouhani took the office, no officials had put the issue on agenda to prevent degradation of environment and revitalize Urmia Lake in an important meeting, such as the meeting of cabinet ministers.

The drying up of Urmia Lake was raised for the first time at the cabinet session in 2013 when President Rouhani convened his first meeting at the beginning of his first term which was welcomed by surprise among Iranians, people of Azarbaijan in particular.

However, some citizens were not very optimistic about revival, and they considered it to be an unreal promise made by the previous governments as well.

After over seven years, the government's last steps to the revival of Lake Urmia have been taken and in this regard, more than 150,000 billion Rials have been spent despite the imposed sanctions.

It was an important move that proved that the government is sensitive enough to environmental issues.

At present, the situation of the Lake is not only promising, but its level has risen up by more than one meter and 22 centimeters compared to the lowest height recorded for the Lake.

Head of the provincial office of the Headquarters for Revival of Urmia Lake in West Azarbaijan province Farhad Sarkhosh said that by the end of the current Iranian year all hardware measures of the lake revival will be finished.

All water transfer projects have more than 95% physical progress, he further noted.

Lake Urmia, located between East and West Azarbaijan provinces, was once the largest salt-water lake in the Middle East.

It is a 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 percent of its waterbed by 2015.

Translated by: Tohid Mahmoudpour

Edited by: Safar Sarabi

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