Iran’s famous Lake Urmia in north-western province of Azarbaijan is dying due to mismanagement of water resources in Iran and lack of funding for revival projects. An official of the lake's revival project has warned that unless enough resources are allocated to these projects the chances for revival are lost and a lot of people in the province will suffer the grave consequences of such failure.
According to the state-run news agency Mehr, Masoud Tajrishi, Director of planning and integration of the revival of the Lake Urmia, who was speaking at the Sixteenth International Exhibition on Environment on Monday February 27, criticized the Hassan Rouhani’s government for failing to meet its obligations and said: "Our contractors have abandoned the project since last September and October and in case of lack of finance, we will lose the chance of revival."He added: "If we can’t secure funding, we lose the chance of revival."
The government of Hassan Rouhani last October publicised the allocation of 300 billion tomans for implementation of projects of the working group to save Lake Urmia. However, Issa Kalantari, Secretary of the Headquarters for Revival of Lake Urmia, has pointed that at least 20,000 billion tomans (£5 billion) will be needed for the revival of Lake Urmia in the next ten years.
Mehr News Agency reported on February 29 that the government has not allocated money to many of the revival of Lake Urmia projects in the 1396 (2017) fiscal year budget.
According to experts, dryness of the Lake will put the lives of millions of people at risk.
Lake Urmia, as the largest salt water lake in the Middle East has lost 12% of its area in recent years. This lost area is equal to the area of Bodensee (Lake Constance) in southern Germany.
Lake Urmia was the largest inland lake in Iran and the world's second largest salt water lake.
Lake Urmia with more than one hundred small rock islands is a stopping place for migratory birds, including flamingos, pelicans, storks and ducks ... and has been registered by UNESCO as a protected area.
Various studies have shown that predatory projects of dam building and digging deep wells by the IRGC Khatam al-Anbiya garrison has led to the current crisis.
Also, state-run newspaper, Shahrvand, in connection with the drying of Lake Urmia emphasized on the damage caused by the regime’s dam building projects and wrote: "By the year 2012 more than 200 dams on rivers in the catchment area of the lake were ready, or in the later stages of the design process”.
Khabar Online, another state-run news agency, writes under the title of “Urmia surrounded by 88000 wells” that these wells and unjustified water usage and drainage of underground water is a major cause of the drying of the lake.