Expert: All plans to revive Lake Urmia were waste of budget

Amid reports of “the demise of Lake Urmia”, a top Iranian geographer and climatologist says all previous efforts to save the lake in northwestern Iran were futile and wasted a huge amount of budget.

Nasser Karami, a professor at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), in an interview with Tehran-based Didar News Outlet on Tuesday, had harsh words for the Lake Urmia Restoration Headquarters for their ‘inappropriate’ strategies that led to changing the course of the rivers and drying up several wetlands instead of giving a new lease of life to the lake.

In 2013, when the headquarters was put at the helm to restore the lake, it promised it would increase the water level from 1.9 billion cubic meters to over 15 billion cubic meters in a ten-year time span. However, the unique and vital ecosystem has today disappeared.

Karami blamed deep wells, traditional agriculture, and failure to upgrade agricultural methods for the ecological disaster.

The Iranian climatologist, however, rejected reports that “the lake is gone forever”, as announced recently, and sounded optimism that after the start of the precipitation season in two months at least half of the lake will come back to life.

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