Utah State University
saline, Lake Urmia, Iran, water, management, global, climate, change, recreation, birds, Artemia, economy, agriculture, irrigation, hypersaline, quality
More than 5 million people live near Lake Urmia in northwestern Iran, one of the world's largest hypersaline lakes. Over the past two decades, the lake has lost 95% of its volume, lake level has dropped more than 7 m, and lake restoration has gained widespread interest. The government seeks a uniform "ecological" target lake level of 1274.1 m above sea level to lower salinity below 240 gL-1 and recover brine shrimp (Artemia spp.) and flamingos (Phoenicopterus roseus).
We have synthesized over 40 years of available data, defined 8 ecosystem services for human health, water quality, ecology, recreation, and economy (Box 1), and related each service to lake levels with uncertainties (Box 2).
Sima, Somayeh; Rosenberg, Dory; Wurtsbaugh, Wayne A.; Null, Sarah E.; and Kettenring, Karin M., "Restoring Lake Urmia: Moving beyond a Uniform Lake Level (2-page Summary)" (2020). Watershed Sciences Faculty Publications. Paper 1105.