Tehran, Feb 24, (dpa/GNA) – Iran wants to save the country’s largest inland lake, by opening an artificial tributary to replenish the largely dried up basin.
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, officially inaugurated the start of the project to save Lake Urmia in the north-west of the country on Friday, state media reported.
The tributary is fed by a dam 36 kilometres away. The project was initiated more than eight years ago, by then-president Hassan Rouhani.
Iran is severely affected by climate change and drought.
The fate of the lake, once a popular holiday destination, is also symbolic of the country’s mismanagement. The lake dried up because of dams, agricultural irrigation projects and thousands of illegally constructed wells.
Satellite images show that the surface of Lake Urmia has shrunk massively. The National Geographic magazine said its surface had shrunk by at least 80% in the past decades. Flamingos, pelicans, herons and ducks have almost disappeared from the area.