Publish dateFriday 23 July 2021 - 13:56
Story Code : 4441
A report on the procedure of changes in the level of Urmia Lake in the last three decades by Hydrography and Tidal Affairs Department of NCC:

Constant Decline of the Urmia Lake Level

Examination of Urmia Lake level, using Jason 3 altimeter satellite data shows that Urmia Lake could not maintain its last year level and its level decreased by an average of about 30 cm in the second quarter of 2021۱ compared to the same time last year.
Constant Decline of the Urmia Lake Level

According to NCC, Dr. Ali Soltanpour, manager of hydrography and tidal affairs, said: “Due to the sharp and constant decline in the lake level over the past two decades this year, the lake's revitalization will require long-term climate changes and adequate rainfall in the future. "

He added: "due to the lack of connection to open waters, lakes generally experience extensive level changes, compared to the seas and oceans. Changes in open water levels are affected by climate changes and human interventions worldwide.

"Today, Altimetry satellites provide the data needed to monitor the Earth's water level. A study of the level of Urmia Lake during the last three decades and using the above satellite data indicates that the level of this lake has significantly increased in early 1991

 In 1995, the level of the lake reached 1278.5 meters so that many Urban and coastal infrastructure was threatened and many efforts were made to control the excessive increase of water in the lake and prevent water from entering the coastal and urban facilities and agricultural lands.

During three years, the level of this lake decreased slowly by about one meter due to the decrease in rainfall and water entering. Since 1998, the water reduction of the lake continued at a faster and very worrying rate, so that during four consecutive years, the sea level decreased by 3.5 meters and the sea level reached 1274 meters in the summer of 2002.

The decline of the lake level continued with a gentle slope and during the next five years, its level decreased by another 0.7 meters and in the summer of 2007 reached 1273.30 meters.

Then the sea level decreased by nearly one meter in 2008 and continued until 2015, and the decrease gradually continued by about 1.5 meters in 2015 and reached 1271 meters (7.5 meters lower than its level in 2015) and this level was maintained until the end of 2018.

Satellite images from 2015 to 2017 all delineate that many parts of the lake (especially the southern part) have dried up. In 2017 and 2018, the level of the lake decreased to less than 1271 meters.

Satellite imagery of the lake over the years has shown widespread and worrying drought on the lake and its revival was in doubt.

From March 2016 and then the spring of 2017, due to the increase in rainfall and water inflow to the lake, the level of the lake increased rapidly; So that during a few months, the level of the lake has increased by more than one meter and in June 2019 it crossed the level of 1272 meters and created a lot of hope for the revitalization of this lake.

After a natural decrease in summer and autumn of 2019, the level of this lake has increased again because of the volume of water inflow in winter of 2019 and spring of 2020 and it has experienced a level of 1271.90 meters which was ten centimeters less than last year.

Then at the end of summer 2019, by the decrease of inflow water and increase of evaporation, the water level decreased to 1271.5 meters.

The latest data from the Jason 3 satellite show that the level of the lake has decreased again due to reduced rainfall and inflow water and increased evaporation compared to last year, and this decrease was achieved by an average of 30 centimeters in the second quarter of 2021 compared to the same time last year."

 In the end, Dr, Soltanpour stated: "It should be noted that phenomena such as drought, is the result of climate change or widespread and long-term human interventions that have a long-haul effect which has caused crises."

 Therefore, the revitalization of Urmia Lake depends on long-term climate change and the optimal and sustainable use of water resources and its long-term sustainability so that the lake can return to its former ecologically stable conditions.

Editor : Hamed Moradian
Translator : Fatemeh Emadian Mehr