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Government ready to spend as much as necessary to save Lake Urmia: President Rouhani

Source: Tehran Times

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has told the Working Committee to Save Lake Urmia to carry out comprehensive studies to facilitate the speedy implementation of its task and to reduce any negative consequences that may arise in the process of the work.

photos by Ahmad Moeinijam, Islamic Republic News Agency (September 2013)

Rouhani made the remarks at a meeting of the Working Committee to Save Lake Urmia on Sunday.

He said the government is ready to provide as much funding as necessary to revive the lake.

The government views the revival of the lake as a criterion for simultaneously reviving other bodies of water in the country, he added.

Rouhani said the government intends to protect and revive all bodies of water that are facing various problems.

Commenting on the proposal to transfer water from the Caspian Sea to Lake Urmia, Rouhani said, "In the implementation of a national project, all pros and cons of the issue and the scientific capabilities of the country should be taken into consideration."

He added that comparative studies about plans implemented in other countries should be made, but Iran's domestic capacities and necessities should not be ignored as a result of these studies.

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 Iranian president, who is also the head of the High Council of the Environment, said before any plan about the transfer of flowing water and the efficient use of water in agricultural activities is implemented, studies should be made to determine its social and economic effects.

The government is obliged to conduct environmental protection activities to ensure that the people can lead healthy lives, he added.

Lake Urmia is in a special situation and the process of its drying up can bring about damaging consequences for the people of the region and other parts of the country, Rouhani said.

He also insisted on the need to implement measures to ensure the proper use of water resources and asked the energy and agriculture ministries to draw up plans for the better use of water resources and the development of modern agriculture in the Lake Urmia region and the country as a whole.

Isa Kalantari, the chairman of the Working Committee to Save Lake Urmia, said over the past six weeks, all the ways to save the lake have been studied through consultation with more than 500 domestic and foreign experts from various universities and the committee is ready to implement the operation to save the lake starting next week.

Kalantari, a former agriculture minister, said all state bodies have had good cooperation with the committee in the efforts to save the lake.

... Payvand News - 06/30/14 ... --

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