Official Underscores Lake Oroumiyeh's Global Importance
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Head of Iran’s Department of Environment Masoumeh Ebtekar described the country’s Lake Oroumiyeh as one of the world’s significant natural habitats, and called for national determination to resolve the crisis in that water basin.
“Resolving the crisis in Lake Oroumiyeh National and International Park, as one of the significant and great habitats of Iran and the world, is a matter of great importance, and settlement of this crisis requires national resolve,” Ebtekar said, addressing the meeting of a committee tasked with saving the lake, in Iran’s West Azarbaijan province, on Thursday.
As Lake Oroumiyeh is shrinking and deserts of salt expanding, Iranian officials are trying to find ways to avert an imminent disaster and to stop the world’s third largest salt lake from drying up.
“The aftermath of effects of such drought on the region’s health, economy and agriculture is very disastrous,” Ebtekar added.
Oroumiyeh Lake is a salt lake in northwestern Iran near Iran’s border with Turkey.
The lake is between the Iranian provinces of East Azarbaijan province and West Azarbaijan, west of the southern portion of the similarly shaped Caspian Sea.
It is the largest lake in the Middle East, and the third largest saltwater lake on earth, with a surface area of approximately 5,200 square kilometers, and is protected as a national park by the Iranian Department of Environment. But it has shrunk by 60% and could disappear entirely in just a few years, due to persistent drought, misguided irrigation policies, and the damming of rivers that feed it.