Investigation of lake drying attributed to climate change|
Abbaspour, M.; Javid, A.H.; Mirbagheri, S.A; Givi, F. Ahmadi & Moghimi, P.
In recent decades, climate change has been of great concern due to its effect on water level and its impact on aquatic ecosystems. Urmia Lake, the largest inland wetland in Iran, has been shrinking. There is a great concern whether it will dry up like the Aral Sea. Therefore, a hydrodynamic model has been developed to simulate the condition of Urmia Lake. The model has been validated using the known annual data on precipitation, evaporation, run off, river discharges and water level which are available for the last 35 years. Different hydrological conditions regarding lake input and output data were tested and water depth was calculated using bathymetry to predict water-level fluctuations in the future. The results predict that the water level will decrease continuously. The lake will be dried up in about 10 years if very dry conditions continue in the region. The drought speed cannot be reduced and there is no potential to develop a water-usage program. Besides, the lake water depth decrease is more slightly, applying alternate wet and dry-period conditions. In some hydrological conditions there is a good potential to consider water development projects. The sensitivity analysis of different parameters indicates that the lake is highly sensitive to river discharges, which implies that the water development project plans will disturb the lake ecosystem if implemented up to 2021 and integrated watershed management plan for the lake can change the condition by regulating the dam output.
Climate change; Ecosystem; Level fluctuation; Modeling; Water level