(Persia Digest) – According to finds by Iranian researchers, water levels in the Caspian Sea have dropped in recent years and the effluent of pollutants and agricultural and urban wastewaters into the Sea has increased its organic load and decreased oxygen levels. This will transform the Caspian Sea in the deeper parts into a dead environment.

Persia Digest (PD) reports that the Caspian is called a sea because it is the largest inland body of water in the world. It measures 1200kms in length with an average 208 metres in depth. The countries around this Endorheic basin are Iran, Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and the Republic of Azerbaijan. Small sections are also in Turkey, Armenia, and Georgia.

Iranian researches say that the flow of the Volga River and surface evaporation are the main causes of fluctuations in water levels. The construction of numerous dams over large rivers flowing into the Caspian Sea for increased agricultural usages has also increased surface evaporation from the dam reservoirs.

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According to Dr Hamid Alizadeh, the human factor has also impacted changes in the water regime of the Caspian Sea. The consumption of the lake’s water for urban, industrial, and agricultural uses, plus evaporation from the dam reservoirs, have directly affected water levels in the Caspian which are now one meter less than the time when the human factor was less significant.

He reports that water levels in the Caspian have continued a downward trend over the past decade by about 1.5 meters.

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The researcher continued: “Water levels have dropped very quickly in the Caspian and there are no signs of any acceleration in the hydrologic cycle according to calculations. This means that increased temperatures have lowered the performance of the hydrologic cycle. Thus, an increased organic load and decreased oxygen levels will transform the Caspian Sea in the deeper parts into a dead environment.”

He added: “We must be aware that household and agricultural sewage effluents and pollutants pouring into the Caspian Sea have placed it in an alarming state; because, if this trend continues, an increased organic load (less oxygen and more sulphide) will suffocate the Sea.

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