|Collective effort required to save Lake Urmia: vice president||
TEHRAN – Iranian First Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi has said that the plan to save the Lake Urmia is a national and not a political one.
Rahimi made the remarks in a speech during the first international Lake Urmia conference, which was held in Urmia, the capital of the northwestern West Azerbaijan Province, on Saturday.
Rahimi stated, “The government has allocated a special budget to resolve the problems facing the Lake Urmia in the budget bill for the year 1392 (March 21, 2013-March 20, 2014).”
“The representatives of West and East Azerbaijan provinces and other representatives in the Majlis should make efforts to improve the situation of and revive the Urmia Lake,” he added.
Rahimi also said that the administration has approved a number of short-term and mid-term projects in this regard, noting, “The implementation of the short-term plans has been completed, and the mid-term projects are in their final phase.”
The Urmia Lake is a salt lake lying in the northwestern Iran and is home to various migratory birds including flamingos, pelicans, spoonbills, ibises, storks, avocets, stilts, and gulls. The lake is located between the provinces of East Azarbaijan and West Azarbaijan. It is the third largest salt water lake on earth with a surface area of approximately 5,200 square kilometers.
Experts say construction of dams on rivers feeding the lake and also droughts have significantly decreased the annual amount of water Lake Urmia receives. They also say that the construction of a bridge across the lake has upset its ecological balance.
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