(Persia Digest) – One of the officials in charge of the restoration of Urmia Lake in western Iran has said the surface area of the lake will be 4200-4400 square kilometers based on the world ecological index. He added that the remaining areas of the lake which are not under water will be covered with mulch and shrub plantations in order to contain dust particles.

Farhad Sarkhosh said that the surface area of the lake will not exceed the estimated ecological index and plans for restoration and stabilization of the lake will be made based on this scale.

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“Almost half of Urmia Lake’s bed is under water,” he said.

Noting that the deeper the lake is, the less likely it is to dry up, Sarkhosh said: “Urmia Lake will no longer dry up since, according to research, the depth of its shores have increased in some areas from 6 centimeters to 28 centimeters.”

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He added: “The current index of the lake stands at 1,270.61 centimeters which is 31 centimeters higher than its corresponding rate last year. The present surface area of the lake is 2,127.77 square km which is 368 km more than a similar period last year.”

Noting that the present water volume in the lake is 1.710 billion cubic meters, Sarkhosh said: “This figure was 1.100 billion cubic meters YOY, showing a 610-million-cubic meter increase from the previous year.”

According to Persia Digest (PD), the Urmia Lake is in northwestern Iran and the largest inland lake of the country. The lake started to dry up in early 2000s. Drought, building a bridge over the lake, misusing its underground water resources and the low levels of rain and snowfall in recent years are the major reasons of the death of the lake. After the election of Hassan Rouhani as the President of Iran in 2013, certain measures have been taken to save the lake.

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