Lake Urmia shrinks by 35% in area

March 27, 2022 - 15:39

TEHRAN – The area of Lake Urmia has decreased to 2,273 square kilometers, some 35 percent less than the area a year before, IRNA reported.

The Lake’s level has also decreased by 68 centimeters, reaching 1,270.74 centimeters. Lake Urmia’s ecological level is 1,274.10 centimeters.

Meanwhile, the volume of water in the Lake stands at 3.02 billion cubic meters, a decrease of 2.2 billion cubic meters compared to the past year.

Shared between West Azarbaijan and East Azarbaijan provinces in northwestern Iran, Lake Urmia, was once the largest salt-water lake in West Asia. It was home to many migratory and indigenous animals including flamingos, pelicans, egrets, and ducks, and attracted hundreds of tourists every year who had bathed in the water to take advantage of the therapeutic properties of the lake.

However, decades of long-standing drought spells and elevated hot summer temperatures that speed up evaporation as well as increased water demands in the agriculture sector shrank the lake drastically.

In 1999 the volume of water which was at 30 billion cubic meters drastically decreased to half a billion cubic meters in 2013. Moreover, the lake surface area of 5,000 square kilometers in 1997 shrunk to one-tenth of that to 500 square kilometers in 2013.


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