MNA – The surface area of the Urmia Lake in north-west Iran has increased by 829 square kilometers, thanks to the two-month-long springtime showers that began pouring across the country in March.
According to Aghil Aghdasi, an official with Regional Water Company of East Azerbaijan province, the lake’s water surface has reached 3,231 square kilometers, a doubled amount in comparison with last year.
Lake Urmia now holds 5.22 billion cubic meters of water, up over 100% compared to last year when the volume was 2.5 billion cubic meters, he said.
He added that this volume is the highest observed in the last 10 years. “Presently, the lake’s 1,271.89 meters above sea level, which is 104 centimeters more compared to the same period of the previous Iranian year [March 2018-2019].”
Located between the provinces of East and West Azarbaijan, Urmia Lake is a closed water body fed through 21 permanent and 39 seasonal rivers.
It was Iran’s largest inland body of water less than 20 years ago; however, it began drying up in the mid-2000s. According to international statistics, the lake lost about 80% of its waterbed by 2015.
Several dams constructed near the lake have choked off the water supply from the nearby mountains, contributing to the depletion of the lake. The construction of a 15-km causeway between Urmia and Tabriz has also exerted a severe impact on the reservoir.
Now that the lake has been revived by the help of the mother nature, the officials have geared up to implement the long-awaited plans, including water transfer both from domestic and foreign bodies, in order not to let the lake dry up again.