The head of the Western Azerbaijan Province Environmental Protection Department announced that 93 percent of Lake Oroumiyeh has dried out and the salt content of the remaining parts has doubled.

Hassan Abbasnejad said the lake is constantly drying out more and more each day and at this point only 2.3 billion cubic metres of it remain, which constitutes only 7 percent of the lake.

Last July, reports indicated that 75 percent of the lake had dried out.

Abbasnejad said if plans to replenish the lake are not carried out by this summer, the most important hotspot of the lake’s biodiversity will be lost, making any attempts at replenishment less likely to succeed.

He listed useful steps that could be taken under the circumstances: “conserving genetic resources and vegetation on the national island parks of Lake Oroumiyeh, equipping protection task forces, and creating stations to measure sandstorms and water-collection levels.”

The continued decline in precipitation as well as the mismanagement of water resources have been cited as causes of the rapid drying out of Iran’s largest inland lake, Lake Oroumiyeh.