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Investigating the restoration of Lake Urmia using a numerical modelling approach

Hamidi-Razi, H., Mazaheri, M., Carvajalino-Fernández, M., Vali-Samani, J.
Journal of Great Lakes research 2019 v.45 no.1 pp. 87-97
basins, good agricultural practices, hydrology, lakes, mathematical models, rivers, salinity, surface area
We assessed the effectiveness of multiple hydrologic restoration scenarios for Lake Urmia, as well as the variation of its salinity regime under no intervention, using a 2D shallow water model. Tested scenarios, proposed by Urmia Lake Restoration Program Committee, include: Preservation of current lake status (no intervention), complete closing of Shahid Kalantari causeway, dyke construction in the southern part of Lake Urmia, water transfer from Zarrinehrood River to Siminehrood River and reduction of agricultural water consumption by best agricultural practices. Results indicate that neither the closure of the causeway nor the construction of the southern dyke would significantly improve lake conditions when compared to preservation of current lake status. The water transfer alternative doesn’t seem to have any effect on the current lake conditions either. However, the reduction on water diversions by improving agricultural practices in the lake's basin leads to a partial restoration of the lake in terms of water level, surface area and volume. If current conditions persist, salinity in the northern part of Lake Urmia will reach supersaturation levels (340 g/L), generating further salt deposits.