State Duties Assigned for Urmia Lake Revival

State Duties Assigned for Urmia Lake Revival State Duties Assigned for Urmia Lake Revival

State organizations were tasked with duties to revive the troubled Urmia Lake, located between East and West Azarbaijan provinces, by First Vice President Es'haq Jahangiri at a meeting on Tuesday. During the session attended by the head of the Department of Environment as well as governor generals of East and West Azarbaijan, as well as Kurdestan, related administrations presented reports on the lake's latest condition and the protective measures taken so far, ISNA reported.

Officials of Urmia Lake Restoration Project presented a comprehensive report on the lake's water level between 2013 and 2017, and the budget received so far.

Jahangiri asked the secretariat of ULRP to negotiate with the Foreign Ministry for receiving foreign finance to accelerate the revival projects, in addition to absorbing funds from domestic sources. The Department of Environment was given until the first half of the next Iranian year (Sept. 22) to equip hydrometric stations with online systems to facilitate the round-the-clock monitoring of water inflow. The ministries of energy and agriculture were ordered to ensure that the defined volume of water from Mahabad Dam is released into the lake during the irrigation period.

The Energy Ministry was also called upon to form a joint committee with ULRP to conduct a water transfer plan from Silveh Dam as of April 21. Jahangiri assigned ULRP to establish a supervisory committee to monitor the siphoning of Zab River's water to the lake and provide a quarterly report.

At the meeting, the vice president emphasized that DOE should monitor the industrial units of the northwestern provinces, in order to prevent any harmful impact on the imperiled lake. Highlighting the necessity of replacing traditional agricultural methods with modern irrigation systems to increase efficiency and cut water wastage, he said the saved water should be properly managed instead of injecting back in farming and industrial sectors.

Jahangiri urged the Management and Planning Organization to give priority to funding the Urmia Lake's restoration projects. He promised to pay 60% of the budget earmarked for the lake's revival in the current Iranian year (ending March 20). Less than 20 years ago, Urmia Lake was Iran’s largest inland body of water. However, the lake currently contains only 5% of the amount of water it did then.


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