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Drying Iranian lake gets some water but funds are short

Source: Radio Zamaneh

Iran's Minister of Power announced on Sunday that his ministry has already begun the process of transferring water to rapidly drying Lake Oroumiyeh but he added that the government faces a shortage of funds in this regard.

Lake Urmia (Orumieh) 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 third salt water lake on earth, with a surface area of approximately 5,200 km square (2,000 mile square).

The Fars News Agency reports that Hamid Chitchian said on Sunday June 15 that the process of replenishing the lake will take time and effort.

He stressed that the process of saving the lake will require assistance from the people of the region, adding: "Currently, the transfer of water to the southern parts of the lake has begun and is being seriously implemented."

He added that the government is facing a "shortfall in its funding resources" but it is still expecting "significant progress" in the coming days.

He added the the ministry needs farmers to do their part by adopting proposed new farming and irrigation methods, which will save water for the lake.

Sharafkhaneh Port, Lake Urmia, Iran

The lake is drying out at a rapid rate with 93 percent of it already gone. The disappearance of the lake would directly affect at least five million people in the region.

Last Tuesday, a group of activists engaged in demonstrations in Tabriz to protest the government's negligence of the lake. Five of the detainees still remain in custody.

August 1985

August 2010

Iran's Lake Oroumeih (also spelled Urmia) is the largest lake in the Middle East and the third largest saltwater lake on Earth. But dams on feeder streams, expanded use of ground water, and a decades-long drought have reduced it to 60 percent of the size it was in the 1980s. Light blue tones in the 2010 image represent shallow water and salt deposits. Increased salinity has led to an absence of fish and habitat for migratory waterfowl.

Images taken by the Thematic Mapper sensor aboard Landsat 5. Source: USGS Landsat Missions Gallery, U.S. Department of the Interior/U.S. Geological Survey. Image provided by NASA Global Climate Change: Vital Signs of the Planet.


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