Photos by Majid Rostami,
Mehr News Agency
Iranian Parliament calls for immediate attention to save
Twenty Majlis lawmakers have written a letter to President
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad calling for immediate action to save Lake Urmia and prevent
the environmental degradation of the body of water. The surface of the salt
water lake recently turned red due to a phenomenon known as red tide.
Experts have long warned that natural factors, coupled with
human activity, will cause Lake Urmia to dry up in the near future if nothing is
Meanwhile, the deputy director of Iran's Environmental Protection Organization
has said evaporation due to microscopic changes in magnesium compounds in the
water turned the lake red.
"Salts containing magnesium in the lake have been concentrated as a result of
the evaporation process. Such compounds give the water a red tone," Mohammad-Baqer
Sadouq told the Mehr News Agency on Wednesday.
Declining rainfall, climate change, and rising temperatures
are accelerating the evaporation process at the lake, Sadouq noted.
Environmentalist Masoud Baqerzadeh-Karimi has dismissed the claim that
wastewater is the cause of the rare red tide phenomenon, adding that if that
were the case, the lake water would have turned red many years ago.
The director of the West Azarbaijan Province Department of the
Environment, Hassan Abbasnejad, believes that a type of algae is responsible for
the red tides.
"Dunaliella salina is a type of algae that creates a red substance in order to
adapt to salty environments and survive," he explained.
(Orumiyeh) is a salt lake in northwestern Iran near Turkey.
The lake is between the provinces of East Azarbaijan and
West Azarbaijan, west of the southern portion of the
similarly shaped Caspian Sea. It is the largest lake inside
Iran, and the second salt water lake on earth, with a
surface area of approximately 5,200 km square (2,000 mile
Lake Orumiyeh from space, 2003 (source NASA)
Lake Urmia, which is located in northwestern Iran, has a
surface area of approximately 5,200 square kilometers.
UNESCO has registered Lake Urmia as a Biosphere Reserve, and it is
listed as a wetland of international importance under the 1971 Ramsar
It is one of the largest natural habitats for the tiny Artemia, which is
a genus of aquatic crustacean that serves as a food source for flamingos
and other migratory birds.
... Payvand News - 8/18/10 ... --