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Restoring Lake Urmia: Moving beyond a Uniform Lake Level (2-page Summary)
Watershed Sciences Faculty Publications
  • Somayeh Sima, Tarbiat Modares University
  • Dory Rosenberg, Utah State University
  • Wayne A. Wurtsbaugh, Utah State University
  • Sarah E. Null, Utah State University
  • Karin M. Kettenring, Utah State University
Document Type
Utah State University
Publication Date
  • 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).

Citation Information
Somayeh Sima, Dory Rosenberg, Wayne A. Wurtsbaugh, Sarah E. Null, et al.. "Restoring Lake Urmia: Moving beyond a Uniform Lake Level (2-page Summary)" (2020) p. 1 - 2
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