Precipitation fills 700km2 of Lake Urmia

December 7, 2015

TEHRAN - Some 700 square kilometers area of Lake Urmia has been filled with water, thanks to recent precipitations, the director of West Azarbaijan province’s department of environment has said.

Increase in rainfalls, decrease in evaporations, and effective measures taken by the lake’s restoration committee were the main reasons, the Mehr news agency quoted Parviz Arasteh as saying on Sunday.

Lake Urmia, situated in northwestern Iran, is dying down. It was once the largest lake in the Middle East and the sixth largest saltwater lake on the earth with a surface area of approximately 5,200 square kilometers. 

The decline is generally blamed on a combination of drought, increased water diversion for irrigated agriculture within the lake’s watershed. 

Currently, some 1,100 square kilometers area of the lake is filled with water, Arasteh said.

As much as 40 billion rials (about $1.1 million) was spent on mulching, creating catchment areas, and fighting with dust storms around the lake, he concluded.

PT/M