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Iran's Shrinking Lake Urmia
May 30, 2018
by Newsha Tavakolian
Situated in northwest Iran, Lake Urmia is the Middle East’s second largest saltwater lake. Formerly known for it’s striking turquoise color, the lake’s shrimp had drawn flamingos, pelicans, egrets, and ducks to it shores while the therapeutic warm and salty water attracted tourists. But, over the past 30 years climate change and human development have caused the lake to shrink by 80%. Blowing salt from dry salt-flats has ruined surrounding farmland and algae and bacteria have turned the lake’s water red. The birds and crowds of tourists are now gone but the government hopes to bring life back to the lake by correcting dam and irrigation projects which had exacerbated the problem.

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