People, Environment

Regional Rivers to Feed Lake Urmia

Regional Rivers to Feed Lake UrmiaRegional Rivers to Feed Lake Urmia

A project to connect the rivers of Mahabad, Godar and Zarrinehroud to Siminehroud, which will be diverted toward Lake Urmia, is 62% complete.

Costing 112 billion rials ($3.7 million), the project is expected to be completed by late September, said the coordinator of Urmia Lake Restoration Program in West Azarbaijan’s Water and Wastewater Company, Saeed Shekari, IRNA reported.

He said once the project is complete, 41% of Zarrineh Roud’s and 10% of Simineh Roud’s water will feed into the lake.

“During winter, less water will flow into Lake Urmia,” Shekari added.

The project is one of numerous measures taken by the government to replenish the embattled lake. Digging wells, repurposing lands into farms and buying 40% of farmers’ water rights are among other measures lined up by the restoration program.

Once the construction of Silveh Dam in Piranshahr, West Azarbaijan, is complete, between 150 million and 200 million cubic meters of water will flow into the lake.

Isa Kalantari, head of ULRP, has said efforts to revive the lake will pay off by 2023.

Once twice the size of Luxembourg and the largest saltwater lake in the Middle East, Lake Urmia is now a shadow of the lake it was 20 years ago.