Hassan Abbasnejad, the head of the Western Azerbaijan Province environment department, announced that the water levels in Lake Oroumiyeh have fallen by 40 percent.

According to ISNA, Abbasnejad said: “In the past 13 years, in addition to a significant decrease in precipitation, a change in the form of precipitation has also influenced the rapid rate of the Lake’s drying.”

Abbasnejad had said in his earlier reports that 85 percent of Lake Oroumiyeh’s surface has dried up.

Some experts have pointed the finger at agricultural developments and irrigation projects in the region as a major culprit in the demise of the lake.