Lake Urmia restoration should be documented as a successful plan: VP

March 16, 2021 - 15:16

TEHRAN – The implementation process of Lake Urmia restoration program should be documented accurately and presented as a successful example of large-scale projects, First Vice-President Is’haq Jahangiri has said.

“In addition to the restoration of Lake Urmia, other projects have been done successfully in recent years with the help of universities,” he highlighted.

Jahangiri made the remarks in the fourteenth meeting of the national working group for the Lake Urmia restoration, which was held on Monday, IRNA reported.

Some of the wetlands, such as Anzali, Miankaleh, and Gorgan Bay, also face problems and issues that need restoration programs, he further noted.

Lake Urmia, located in the northwest of Iran, was once the most extensive permanent hypersaline lake in the world. Unsustainable water management in response to increasing demand together with climatic extremes has given rise to the lake's depletion during the last two decades. The lake’s restoration program was established in 2013 and aims to restore the lake within a 10-year program.

Lake’s surface area doubled in 6 years

At the beginning of the Lake Urmia Restoration Program in 2013, the Lake’s level was about 1270.32 meters, 1783 square kilometers in surface area, and 1.14 billion cubic meters in volume, which indicates a 50 percent increase in the lake’s surface area in comparison to the current water level.

Lake Urmia’s surface area has reached 2,785 square kilometers, indicating a more than 100 percent rise compared to the lowest volume recorded in the Iranian calendar year 1393 (March 2014-March 2015).

The current level of the lake stands at 1271.24 meters, which increased by more than 1.2 meters compared to the lowest recorded amount, according to Farhad Sarkhosh, head of the Lake Urmia Restoration Program’s office in West Azarbaijan province.

The volume of water also raised by 3.26 billion cubic meters, which has increased more than 5 times compared to the Iranian calendar year 1394 (March 2015-March 2016) and before the Lake Urmia Restoration Program started, he highlighted.

Last year (March 2019- March 2020), over 1.4 billion cubic meters of water released into the lake.

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