Lake Urmia shows a range of dark and light red hues of water, framed by white salt flats, in this image of Iran. Also visible in the full image is Lake Van, in Turkey, and the Caspian Sea. Lake Urmia has been shrinking in recent years, in part due to the ecological changes from the construction of a causeway across the lake, and in part due to a recent drought that has significantly decreased the annual amount of water the lake receives.
Although measures are now being taken to reverse the trend, the lake has shrunk by 60 percent and could disappear entirely. On August 2nd 2012, Mohammad Javad Mohammadzadeh, the head of Iran’s Environment Protection Organization, announced that Armenia have agreed on transferring water from Armenia to counter the critical fall in Lake Urmia’s water levels, remarking the body of water had reached its lowest water levels ever recorded.
Lake Urmia (Turkish: اورمو گؤلو ,farsi: دریاچه ارومیه, Daryache-ye Orumiye) is a salt lake in northwestern Iran, near Iran's border with Turkey. The lake is between the provinces of East Azerbaijan and West Azerbaijan, west of the southern portion of the similarly shaped Caspian Sea. It is the largest lake in the Middle East, and the third largest salt water lake on earth, with a surface area of approximately 5,200 km² (2,000 mile²), 140 km (87 mi) length, 55 km (34 mi) width, and 16 m (52 ft) depth. Lake Urmia is protected as a "National Park" by the Iranian Department of Environment.
Lake Urmia is home to some 212 species of birds, 41 reptiles, 7 amphibians, and 27 species of mammals, including the deer. It is an internationally registered protected area as both a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and a Ramsar site. The Iranian Dept. of Environment has designated most of the lake as a "National Park".
Protests for saving Lake Urmia
On 2 April 2010 and 2011, and after several callings from Tractor Sazi F.C.'s fans in stadiums and internet sites, protest demanding that the government take action to save Lake Urmia was held in Tabriz, Urmia, on the lake beach, and on top of the lake bridge. As a result, dozens of people were arrested by security forces.
in August 2011, after the Iranian parliament dropped two emergency cases for reviving the lake, a number of soccer fans at Tabriz derby (soccer match between Tractor Sazi F.C. and Shahrdari Tabriz F.C.) were arrested for shouting slogans in favor of protecting the lake. Later that same week, Iranian Turkish scheduled a protest against the parliament move. Despite the capture of more than 20 activists by security forces the day before the protest, numerous people attended the event in Urmia and a number of clashes with police were reported.
On 3 September 2011, Iranian Tuekish demonstrated for second week in a row to protect Lake Urmia. The protests in Tabriz and Urmia reportedly followed parliament's rejection of rescue plan, and security forces used violence to break up environmental rallies as protesters demanded action to save Lake Urmia, and according to West Azerbaijan's governor at least 60 supporters of the lake were arrested just in Urmia and dozens in Tabriz because - according to an Iranian official - they had not applied for a permit to organize a demonstration. As the protests in Tabriz and other Iranian Azerbaijan cities, Azerbaijanian Turkish resident in Turkey called for the preservation of saltwater Lake Urmia through a peaceful protest that included pouring salt and lying on the street in front of the Iranian Embassy in Ankara.
Source of Picture