Tag Archive for 'Lake Orumiyeh'

Police Beat, Tie-Up, and Fire On Citizens Protesting Dying Ramsar Protected Lake in Iran

Lake Urmia protests. Retrieved from: www.greenprophet.com

“Like a chain of dominos, citizen protests are erupting everywhere: following the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions catalyzed in part by skyrocketing food prices, political protests have swept throughout the Arab world. But it hasn’t stopped there, and not all battles are political.

In Jordan, ordinary people are protesting government plans to include nuclear power in its arsenal of energy sources, while in the United States, Bill McKibben and other well-respected community members, including Jim Hansen from NASA, have been arrested for marching against the Keystone XL Pipeline –  a carbon bomb that climatologists say would officially end the battle against climate change (humanity 0 vs. climate change 7 billion). But none of these latter environmental events has garnered such an extreme response as the Lake Orumiyeh protests in Iran, where bloggers report that people are being arrested, beaten, and in some cases tied to trees for protesting the slow death of the world’s second largest salt lake.

Dried up Mecca

In part because of drought and in part because of poorly managed dam construction and irrigation projects, Lake Orumiyeh or Urmia in Northwestern Iran has shrunk to roughly 60% of its original size. Once a mecca for flamingos and other wildlife, the dying lake now more closely resembles a dusty moonscape.

Residents in Azerbaijan that rely on the Ramsar protected site for their sustenance claim that Revolutionary Guards are responsible for shrinking lake levels and the subsequent rise in salinity and decrease in biodiversity. Global Voices claims that if Lake Urmia dries up completely, millions of people will have to settle elsewhere.”

Read more: Green Prophet



Potentially Saltier Than The Dead Sea, Iran’s Lake Orumiyeh Is In Trouble

Another salt lake set to dry up as a result of drought and water diversion projects. Photo retrieved from: www.greenprophet.com

“Like the Dead Sea, Lake Orumiyeh has shrunk to half its former glory. And the creatures that used to call it home have sought solace elsewhere, as the lake becomes increasingly saline. Located in the northwest province of West Azerbaijan providence, Lake Orumiyeh is part of the world’s largest saltwater wetlands, according to the Financial Times, but both drought and irrigation projects risk drying it up altogether. If this happens, it will leave behind an enormous and dangerous reservoir of salt.

One resident of Ghoschi, a town located astride the lake, claims that flamingos used to call out six or seven times a day, but now they are no longer there. And the brine shrimp on which they fed have disappeared completely.

Nearly 70% of waterfowl species have disappeared while the former shore is now a “salt-strewn desert.”

Environmentalists claim that an extended drought accounts for nearly 70% of the lake’s loss, but the rest is attributed to irrigation projects that are used to cultivate 1.4 million hectares of agricultural land.

Residents worry that like the Aral Sea, the lake will dry up completely, leaving behind up to 10 billion tonnes of salt that could potentially cause storms that would travel as far as Tehran. Up to 13 million people could be displaced.”

Read more: Greenprophet