The head of the Lake Urmia Replenishment Committee says 1,300 wells around the lake in Eastern and Western Azerbaijan provinces have been blocked.
Issa Kalantari told Fars News Agency on Tuesday January 19 that illegal wells have been a major factor in the overexploitation of underground waters; therefore, a systematic effort was made to identify and shut them down.
He added that the level of reliance on underground waters in the Lake Urmia region has been “very disturbing” and had to be decreased.
Reports indicate that the volume of water entering Lake Urmia has declined by 300 million cubic metres annually.
Kalantari referred to the unregulated rise of agriculture in the Lake Urmia region, putting serious strain on the water resources in the region.
Over ninety percent of Lake Urmia has already dried out, leaving wide sand lakes that cause salt storms, triggering serious respiratory, skin and eye problems for residents in the region.
The government established a replenishment committee to fix the problem and save the lake.