People, Environment

Caspian Sea Level Lowest in 60 Years

Caspian Sea Level Lowest in 60 YearsCaspian Sea Level Lowest in 60 Years

In spring, Caspian Sea registered an unprecedented 22-centimeter drop in water level, said an official at the Ministry of Energy.

Morteza Eftekhari, the head of Water Research Institute, said the recorded level is the lowest in 60 years.

“The water level has been continuously dropping over the past 18 years,” he said.

Eftekhari attributed the decline to prolonged droughts and climate change, Mehr News Agency reported.

“Volga River [Europe’s largest river in terms of discharge that runs through Russia] is the largest tributary of Caspian Sea and provides 85% of its water, but a reduction in inflow brought about by years of drought has taken a toll on the sea,” he said.

Speaking of Lake Urmia located between East and West Azarbaijan provinces, the official said illegal wells around the lake are draining the lake.

Eftekhari said it will take 10 years to revive the lake, but restoration efforts will fail to deliver as long as illegal wells are being exploited.

“The wells have cut off water supply from the plains to the lake,” he said.