People, Environment

Solutions to Restore Gorgan Bay Proposed

Solutions to Restore Gorgan Bay ProposedSolutions to Restore Gorgan Bay Proposed

In a bid to save Gorgan Bay from desiccation, the authorities have proposed the most efficient solutions.

Covering an area of about 400 square kilometers along the southeastern part of Caspian Sea and considered the largest gulf in the area, the once-thriving Gorgan Bay is now on the brink of desiccation, and what little water remains there is threatened by pollution.

Although a rescue committee has been formed by provincial authorities to help address the issues facing the water body, short- and long-term plans as well as timely allocation of funds are required to prevent the destruction of the bay.

"Dredging Khazini Channel and the Strait of Chapoghli, through which the bay is fed, has been proposed as a potential solution," Esmaeil Mohajer, the head of Golestan Province's Department of Environment, was quoted as saying by ISNA.

"Field studies must be carried out to see if the plan is feasible," he added.

The other issue that raises concern is construction of embankment dams on rivers that feed the bay.

"The dams only serve to cut the water flowing into the bay," ISNA quoted the official as saying.

The government has earmarked 50 billion rials ($1.2 million) for the bay's restoration efforts but an insignificant portion of the budget has been made available.

Mass industrial development along the north coast, notwithstanding the chemical, atmospheric and environmental pollutions and the dumping of millions of gallons of untreated sewage every year, has caused widespread damage to the bay.

A great number of contaminants, including organic and inorganic water pollutants, have made the area messy and increased the risk of diseases such as hepatitis, skin diseases and inflammatory bowel diseases.

Experts say a fate similar to that of Urmia Lake awaits the bay.

Urmia Lake is the country's largest inland body of water, nestled between the provinces of East Azarbaijan and West Azarbaijan in northwestern Iran. Due to years of mismanagement, which saw the construction of a massive causeway across the lake and damming of key tributaries, the lake was nearing total desiccation. However, measures to revive the lake are progressing well, albeit slowly due to a lack of funds.


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