NCRI - Director of planning and integration of the revival of the Lake Urmia, 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."
According to the state-run news agency Mehr, Masoud Tajrishi, who was speaking at the Sixteenth International Exhibition on Environment on Monday February 27, added: "If we can’t secure funding, we lose the chance of revival."
He noted: "Half of the projects, including projects in dust control and inspection patrols are faced with the problem of continuity due to the lack of funds" and added: "Our contractors have abandoned the projects since last September and October due to lack of funds."
The official also noted that projects of eight percent reduction in water usage in agriculture also have been abandoned due to the lack of funds.
This is while the Rouhani government in early October announced the allocation of 300 billion Tomans for implementation of yearly projects of the working group to save Lake Urmia.
Issa Kalantari, Secretary of the headquarters of Revival of Lake Urmia, on Monday pointed to the current projects for revival of this lake and said for the revival of Lake Urmia in the next ten years, 20,000 billion tomans will be needed.
Mehr News Agency reported on February 29 that in 1396 (2017) fiscal year budget, the government has not allocated budget to some projects in the revival of Lake Urmia.
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, in recent years lost 12% of its area which is equal to the area of Bodensee in southern Germany; the shore of that lake with a circumference of 240 km, is shared between the three countries of Germany, Switzerland and Austria ".
The 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.
The lake began to get dry from mid-2000, and today is in danger of drying completely such that more than 80 percent of the lake has become a salt desert.
Although the Iranian regime has always tried to show that drought is the main cause of this crisis, but studies of international researchers showed that drought caused only 5% decrease in rainfall around the lake, and predatory projects of dam building and digging deep wells by factions of the regime and the IRGC Khatam al-Anbiya garrison, along with the construction of the 15 kilometers highway on the lake has led to the current crisis.
Shahrvand state-run newspaper, 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. According to the latest studies water level of the Lake Urmia in October 2015 was 1270.04 meters that shows a decrease of 40 cm compared to the same period last year.
Khabar Online state-run news agency writes under the title of “Urmia surrounded by 88000 wells”: "Wells are among the important factors that have not left underground water untouched by human interventions. The growing trend of dogging wells across the country over the past four years indicates the significant increase in the number of wells to more than 760,000 wells across the country. More than 46 billion cubic meters of water is taken from these wells.”
Effects of the lake drying, on the surrounding environment:
International experts believe that drying up of the Lake Urmia will change its mild weather to hot weather with salt winds and consequently the environment of the area will change, and salt along with many other poisonous materials will create respiratory problems for the people of the region that threatens a radius of up to 500 kilometers of the lake.
Where did the project of revival of the Lake Urmia end up with?
Hassan Rouhani, who had promised the revival of Lake Urmia, at the beginning of the election campaign and had said: “I promise you that if you put the executive responsibility of the country on my shoulders, solving the problem of the Lake will be my first priority on the agenda.” Has taken no real action to save the lake.