Lake Urmia

Lake Urmia Iran | Drying up of Lakes

Lake Urmia is an endorheic salt lake in Iran. The lake is located between the provinces of East Azerbaijan and West Azerbaijan in Iran, and west of the southern portion of the Caspian Sea.

Lake Urmia map

Lake Urmia








Lake Urmia is a hypersaline lake located in Iran. Formerly the largest saltwater lake in the Middle East, covering over 2,000 square miles, Lakeurmia has shrunk to only 10 per cent or its original size and now holds only five per cent of the water it once had. The reasons for this dramatic water loss are many: the 13 rivers entering the lake have been dammed; increased groundwater pumping has reduced flows into the lake; water diversions; climate change and drought.

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Unfortunately for the people of Iran, if Lake Urmia vanishes, so will the tourism it attracts, and the lake’s marshes will dry up too, no longer supporting 226 species of birds and many other animals. But Lake Urmia may survive at least somewhat; Iranian officials are working to persuade neighbouring countries such as Armenia and Azerbaijan to divert water to help refill this dwindling water resource

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