Iranian Minister of Power Hamid Chitchian has announced that all dam-building in the Lake Oroumiyeh catchment region has been prohibited by special order of the president.
The country’s largest inland lake, Lake Oroumiyeh in northwestern Iran, has been rapidly shrinking, and the proliferation of dams on the rivers that feed it has been identified as one of the contributing factors to the lake’s disappearance.
The Mehr News Agency reports that the special group established by President Hassan Rohani for the replenishment of Lake Oroumiyeh is now at work, and while all plans to build new dams in the region have been scrapped, even dam structures that are currently under construction may also be stopped.
Chitchian added that the committee is considering water transfers to the lake from the Aras River, the Caspian Sea and other regions.
The head of the Western Azerbaijan department of the environment announced in August that one-third of Lake Oroumiyeh has disappeared.
Saving Lake Oroumiyeh was one of of Hassan Rohani’s campaign promises in the June 2013 presidential election.