1.5b cubic meters of water to annually flow into Urmia Lake

IRNA – Commander of the Khatam al-Anbia Construction Headquarters announced on Tuesday that about 1.5 billion cubic meters of water will annually flow into the famous Urmia Lake after completion of its revival plan.

Revival plan for Urmia Lake has three phases, Saeed Mohammad said according to the Headquarters public relations office.

Urmia Lake is among the most important and valuable water ecosystems inside the country and also across the world, Mohammad added to his remarks.

Lake Urmia, located between East and West Azarbaijan provinces, was once the largest salt-water lake in the Middle East. It is habitat to many migratory and indigenous animals, including flamingos, pelicans, egrets and ducks and attracts hundreds of tourists every year who had bathed in the water to take advantage of the therapeutic properties of the lake.

As Mohammad said, Khatam al-Anbia Construction Headquarters played an effective role in reviving the Lake when its situation became critical.

The commander noted that this large amount of water to be poured into Urmia Lake will be possible thanks to the Headquarters’s great capabilities in constructing tunnels and also through a 36-km Kani Sib tunnel in Piranshahr County in northwestern Iranian province of West Azarbaijan.

Acceleration of implementation of revival plan for Urmia Lake will prevent any future fall in level of water there, Mohammad said.

He also appreciated the cooperation of the Energy Ministry and Department of Environment in implementing the plan.

About Khatam al-Anbia Construction Headquarters, the commander said it plays a leading role in construction and completion of dam projects in the country.

Urmia Lake began shrinking in the mid-2000s due to decades of longstanding drought spells and elevated hot summer temperatures. According to international statistics, the lake lost about 80% of its waterbed by 2015.

In a coordinated effort to save the lake in 2013, Iran started a joint project with the UN Development Program (UNDP) funded jointly by the Iranian and the Japanese governments. The revival efforts therefore focused on redirecting rivers to irrigate farmland, thus avoiding use of water from the lake, and the promotion of more sustainable farming methods.

The provincial environment officials hoped that the lake would reach its ecological level by 2025.