Official: 70 percent of Urmia Lake drought op

The head of the Iranian West Azerbaijan Province's Environment Organization said 70 percent of the Urmia (Orumiyeh) Lake has been drought up.
According to ISNA, Hassan Abbasnejad said Iran government started some measures to revive Urmia Lake by cloud seeding, commissioning the new irrigation methods, etc. in last solar year (ended on 18 March 2011) but the process is being carried out slowly.
"The main problem is lack of finance, then now, 300, 000 hectares of lake became salt land," he added.
Abbaszadeh said that Urmia Lake needs 3.1 billion cubic meters of water per year to survive.
Illegal use of water flowing into the lake for watering by rural population, construction of dams and illegal objects on its banks, is also among the problems of the Lake Urmia.
Each litre of water in Lake Urmia contains 330 grams of salt. Previously, the figure stood at 160-170 grams per litre.
Iranian government approved $900 million finance bill to rescue lake from drought, but the process is being carried out slowly.
Urmia is located in the west of the South Azerbaijan(Iran). There is a permanent salt lake, Lake Urmia adjacent to the city. The population of Urmia is predominantly Turks (over 90%), but with Kurdish, Assyrian and Armenian minorities.

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