People, Environment

Plans to Combat Urmia Dust Storm

Plans to Combat Urmia Dust Storm Plans to Combat Urmia Dust Storm

Two plans aimed at checking shifting sands and dust storms around Lake Urmia are halfway to completion, according to the head of Urmia Department of Environment.

Mokhtar Khani also told ISNA that $1.1 million of the Urmia Lake Restoration Program’s budget had been allocated to these projects last year. The first project aims to pepper the area with soil tolerant plants that require minimal watering, while the second, more recent project includes mulching a 45-hectare area. “Mulching is supposed to support the first project by protecting newly-planted saplings against shifting sands. This way, the plants have time to grow strong and run deep roots,” he said. In addition to the above projects, DOE is constructing two artificial ponds on the islands of Espier and Arezou in Lake Urmia. “Once the swales are created, surface runoff from rainwater will be caught, saved in reservoirs and made available to the region’s wildlife,” Khani said.