$ 460 m for Restoring Urumia Lake

 $ 460 m for Restoring Urumia Lake $ 460 m for Restoring Urumia Lake

The secretary of Lake Urumia Restoration Program said on Monday that $460 million will be allocated for restoration of the lake, of which $82 million will be used to reimburse farmers in East Azerbaijan Province to halt cultivation in the region. 

"The water level of the Lake is set to increase to 1274 meters above international water levels within a ten-year period," said Khalil Saei. According to him, salinity level of 250 mg. and revival of artemia -a small species of brine shrimps often found in salt lakes- are the major criteria of the lake's restoration, reported IRNA.

Located between East and West Azerbaijan provinces, Lake Urumia gradually started to dry 17 years ago. Experts believe that the lake's death will cause serious health risks such as asthma, lung and upper respiratory tract infections, cardiovascular diseases and cancer.

Dry summers and long winters, accelerated snowmelt in mountains, decrease of rainfall and water levels, distribution of salt and increase in abortion among livestock, are some of the ecological effects of Lake Urumia drought.

Reducing water usage in agriculture is the key to restoring Lake Urumia, according to experts. As a result, water use in farming is expected to have an 8 percent annual decrease within the next five years.