First Stage of Lake Urumia Funding Okayed

First Stage of Lake Urumia Funding OkayedFirst Stage of Lake Urumia Funding Okayed

The funding for the implementation of the first phase of Lake Urumia conservation has been finalized and approved by the government in the presence of President Hassan Rouhani.

The executive organizations will receive the funds 10 days after the official notification to initiate necessary action, said Davoud Reza Arab, spokesman of the lake restoration campaign.

The campaign, it may be recalled, had urged for the restoration of the lake estimated to cost $5 billion over a 10-year period. The first phase would cost approximately $489 million.

The budget allocation for the first phase was agreed by relevant organizations and reviewed and finalized by the government on October 26, IRNA reported.


At present 27 recommendations to save the lake have been approved of which 10 have been prioritized. Once the funding is received, the process of implementation would start.

Top priority projects include: water transfer from Zarrinehroud River to Siminehroud River; water transfer from Zaab and Aji Chai rivers to the lake; pressurized irrigation, increasing efficiency of water transmission to the agricultural farms; mapping of the surrounding lands which indicate their area, ownership and their type of cultivation and method of water supply.

Lake Urumia is located in the northwestern part of Iran, between Western and Eastern Azarbaijan Provinces.  The lake is the country’s largest inland and the second largest saltwater lake in the world. It is mainly fed by Zarinehroud, Siminehroud, Talkheroud, Gader, Baranduz, Shahrechai, Nazlo and Zola Rivers. As the lake is in a critical condition of drying up due to drought and lack of rainfall, the government initiated a campaign to save it.