Iranian official: Lake Urmia further shrinks

The CEO of Iran’s East Azerbaijan Province water utility says the water volume of Lake Urmia is 3.14 billion cubic meters, which is down over 2 billion cubic meters compared to the same time last year.

He said is the area of the lake is also nearly 2,495 square kilometers, which is down more than 2,198 thousand square kilometers compared to the same time last year.

Lake Urmia is Iran’s largest wetland and was once one of the biggest saltwater lakes in the world.

The lake has been shrinking for a long time, with an annual evaporation rate of 0.6 to 1 m.

Although measures are now being taken to reverse the trend, the lake has shrunk by 60% and could disappear entirely. Only 5% of the lake’s water remains.

The shrinkage of Lake Urmia has been blamed both on unsustainable water use by farmers in the region and also climate change.

The latter could be called the main factor in the drying up of the lake because the rate of rainfall has reduced in recent decades and the Urmia basin has experienced several multi-year droughts.

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