Iranian Officials Discuss Ways to Save Lake Oroumiyeh
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran’s First Vice-President Eshaq Jahangiri attended a session of the special working group established to discuss ways for saving the Lake Oroumiyeh.
The meeting held in Tehran on Wednesday evening also attended by ministers of energy, interior, defense, and industry, as well as head of Iran’s Environmental Protection Organization (IEPO).
At the meeting, participants was briefed on the current conditions of the lake.
It also discussed 19 plans proposed by experts to stop the endangered lake from further shrinking and to help it regain its original size.
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.
Iranian Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian had previously 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.
He also added that his ministry has called on the academic and research centers to propose remedies that would help save the shrinking lake.