Iran Urges Afghans to Release More Water to Save Hamoon Lake
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – An Iranian lawmaker voiced concern about the critical state of Hamoon Lake in southeast of the country, and called on neighboring Afghanistan to stand by its commitments to provide the necessary water flow to revive the drying lake.
Kamaleddin Pir Moazzen, member of Iranian parliament’s environment committee, said Hamoon Lake in the country’s southeastern province of Sistan and Balouchestan is undergoing critical conditions after Afghanistan failed to provide its share of water to revive the lake.
He also said drying-up process at the lake intensified after the Afghan government started to construct dams across the rivers that feed the marshy lake.
Lake Hamoon’s existence was heavily dependent on the water coming from Hirmand River, also known as Helmand in Afghanistan, which rises from Hindu Kush Mountains and flows into Kajaki Dam in Afghanistan, before reaching Sistan and Balouchestan in Iran.
In 1973, the two countries signed a treaty by which Afghanistan agreed to allow 22 cubic meters of water flow per second into the Iranian territory.
Between 1999 and 2001, the lake almost dried up and disappeared as the water flow to Iran was halted. When droughts occur in Afghanistan, or the water in watersheds that support Lake Hamoon is drawn down by other natural or human-induced reasons, the end result is a dry lake bed in Iran.