Norwegians to Study Caspian-Lake Urmia Water Project

Norwegians to Study Caspian-Lake Urmia Water ProjectNorwegians to Study Caspian-Lake Urmia Water Project

"There are different aspects to the Caspian Sea-Lake Urmia water project that should be taken into consideration" Issa Bozorgzadeh said. "We need a solution with optimum profit and minimum loss."

Lake Urmia is the sixth largest saltwater lake in the world and the largest in the Middle East. It is approximately 55 kilometers wide and extends over 140km from the north to south. It has been shrinking for a long time, with an annual evaporation rate of 0.6-1 meter, and led severe criticism and expressions of concern by the media, senior officials and prominent environmentalists both at home and abroad.

Similarly climate change, wasteful irrigation practices and the colossal depletion of groundwater reserves are the major reasons behind the chronic water shortage challenging  the country for decades and seemingly getting worse every year.

However, in the case of Lake Urmia, some experts insist that a series of dams built in the region that cut off fresh water supply from mountains surrounding the lake have made a bad situation worse.

Akva-niva was founded in 1984 and offers environmental, technical, and analytical services, in the aquaculture and marine biology sector.

Unjustified Project

The Majlis Research Center said in a report that water desalination and transferring water from the Caspian Sea to the central parts of Iran would be "unprofitable."

There are plans to build infrastructure to channel water from the Caspian Sea to the dry and water-deficit central regions, namely Semnan Province, for drinking and industrial use. However, the Majlis has said the project is economically unviable.

The plan, slated to be carried out over a 30-year period, is designed for desalination and supply of more than 220 million cubic meters of water annually to Semnan. But according to the parliamentary report, the plan's benefit-cost ratio (BCR) stands at 0.53, meaning the project would barely cover half of its cost.

But there is more to take into account regarding this highly ambitious project. Distance, for one, is a major hurdle. Semnan Province is almost 400 kilometers away from the Caspian Sea. Add to this the geological obstacles, mainly the Alborz Mountain range, which stand between the two regions and would pose further complications for the project.