Urmia Lake Rehabilitation Headquarters Review: How to Manage Water Supply Needed for Lake Urmia Rehabilitation

Urmia Lake Rehabilitation Headquarters Review: How to Manage Water Supply Needed for Lake Urmia Rehabilitation

The first session of a series of specialized meetings to review the performance of Lake Urmia Rehabilitation Headquarters with the focus on how to manage the required water resources, on Tuesday, July 3, hosted by the Office of Sustainability of Amirkabir University and Sharif University of Technology and Lake Urmia Rehabilitation Headquarters was held at Amirkabir University. The panel members of this meeting were:

– Dr. Reza Maknoon (Chairman of the meeting and Chairman of the High Monitoring and Evaluation Committee of Lake Urmia Rehabilitation Headquarters),

– Dr. Mehdi Ahmadi (Secretary of the meeting),

– Dr. Masoud Tajrishi (Director of Planning and Integration Office of Urmia Lake Rehabilitation Headquarters),

– Eng. Mohammad Haj Rasouliha (CEO of Iran Water Resources Management Company),

– Dr. Jamshid Mousavi (Head of Water Resources Working Group of Urmia Lake Rehabilitation Headquarters)

– Eng. Arash Akhavan (Director of Operation Office of Water Supply Facilities of Iran Water Resources Management Company)

The main axes studied in this meeting include reviewing the implemented model of operation of dam reservoirs in the last 4 years, reviewing the status of resources and consumption of reservoirs in the catchment area of Lake Urmia and reviewing different models for predicting inflow and operation of dam reservoirs. At this meeting, Eng. Akhavan first presented a report on the planning process carried out to rehabilitate Lake Urmia, the forecasting model used and the measures taken. Then it was the turn of Dr. Mousavi to present a report on the research and activities carried out to provide an improved model for better management of water resources in the area. Engineer Haj Rasouliha then gave a general explanation about the performance of the headquarters. In the last part of the section related to the evaluation of the headquarters’ performance, Dr. Tajrishi explained the situation of Lake Urmia and then it was the turn of the question and answer section that Dr. Maknoon asked questions from the panel members about the future of the lake and the future plans of the headquarters.

Finally, the main points agreed upon by the panel members included the following sections:

  1. One of the most important factors influencing the revitalization of Lake Urmia are dams; Because among 16 important rivers supplying water to Lake Urmia, a national dam has been built on 8 of them. In addition, for example, studies on Buchan Dam, as the most important dam, show that the release of water from this dam has had a great effect on the level of the lake. Therefore, management and planning for dams in order to rehabilitate the lake is very important.
  2. It is necessary to use a suitable model in order to manage the water of the dams and annual planning for their operation; However, it should be noted that the basic information used in the model has as little error as possible and is based on continuous monitoring and the latest information to be in good agreement with the real situation.
  3. The proposed model should be well adapted to changing predicted conditions; Because the amount of rainfall in recent years has shown that the uncertainty in the forecasts has been high.
  4. To rehabilitate Lake Urmia, managing and improving the operation of dams alone is not enough and saving water consumption in the agricultural sector up to about 40% is essential. Otherwise, it is not possible to revive Lake Urmia.
  5. At present, it seems that there is enough water and knowledge to rehabilitate the lake, and by improving the planning models for the operation of the dams, as well as optimizing water consumption in the agricultural sector, it will be possible to rehabilitate Lake Urmia.
  6. There is no need to form other rehabilitation headquarters to manage other catchment areas and water resources in the country, and the experiences gained for the rehabilitation of Lake Urmia can be used as a suitable program and roadmap for other examples in the country.