Study Underway on Transfer of Caspian Sea Water to Lake Oroumiyeh: Minister
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iranian Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian said a study has begun to determine whether it is feasible to transfer the Caspian Sea water to Lake Oroumiyeh in northwest of the country, with the aim of replenishing the endangered lake.
“The plan for transfer of the Caspian Sea water to Lake Oroumiyeh is in the study stage, and we are conducting environmental and technical studies to find out whether such transfer is possible or not,” Chitchian said on the sidelines of the Iranian cabinet’s weekly meeting here in Tehran on Wednesday.
He also added that his ministry has called on the academic and research centers to propose remedies that would help save the shrinking lake.
In separate remarks on Saturday, Chitchian had underlined the government's determination to save the endangered lake, which has lost more than sixty percent of its surface in recent years.
“We will make every effort to prevent the drying up trend in Lake Oroumiyeh,” the Iranian minister had told Tasnim News Agency in Iran’s northwestern city of Oroumiyeh.
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 salt lake from drying up.
One of the largest salt lakes in the world and classified as a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO, Lake Oroumiyeh has lost more than 60 percent of its surface over the last two decades due to drought and the damming of rivers feeding it.
The disappearance of the lake could leave behind billions of tons of salt which in turn displace millions of people and endanger the ecosystem of all surrounding areas, whose economy relies on agriculture and tourism.