The level of the Caspian Sea decreases by 5-10 cm per year

(ORDO NEWS) — The average annual water level in the Caspian Sea has decreased by about 5-10 cm compared to last year, according to the Iranian Ministry of Energy.

According to Behzad Layeki, head of the National Institute of Oceanography and Atmospheric Sciences, various factors play a decisive role in the water level of the Caspian Sea, such as the volume of water flowing from rivers into this catchment, the amount of precipitation and the rate of evaporation.

While lamenting that the water level in the Caspian Sea had been declining over the past 30 years, he said that in 1977 the sea level had dropped sharply and had tended to rise until 1995; but since then, over the past 26 years, the sea water level has been on a downward trend. 

It is now one meter above sea level in 1977, which was the lowest level in the Caspian Sea in five decades, and if the same trend continues, it will reach its lowest level again in less than 10 years, he stressed.

According to him, long-term forecasts based on climate change scenarios show a drop in the lake water level by 4-6 meters over the next 30-50 years, ISNA reported on Friday.

A decrease in sea water levels, in addition to the problems it poses for ports and shipping in this catchment area, has a negative impact on protected areas, including wetlands, as well as aquatic life due to increased salinity and water temperature. he said.

Pointing to another factor in the decline in the water level in the Caspian Sea, he noted that the largest river flowing into the Caspian Sea is the Volga, which supplies about 85 percent of the sea, but in recent years several dams have been built on the river bed, water consumption in various parts of which reduced the volume of water entering the Caspian Sea.

He further expressed the opinion that the granting of the right to water of the sea and its rivers is one of the most important measures that all the Caspian countries can take to prevent a decrease in the water level.

The Caspian Sea is the largest closed inland body of water on Earth. In the northeast it is bounded by Kazakhstan, in the northwest by Russia, in the west by Azerbaijan, in the south by Iran and in the southeast by Turkmenistan. The sea area is 600,384 square kilometers and the coastline is 7,000 kilometers.

400 species of aquatic organisms and the third largest reserves of oil and gas under its seabed after the Persian Gulf and Siberia have doubled the value of this reservoir, and sturgeons are the most important inhabitants of the sea.

The adoption of 400 species of aquatic life has doubled the value of the Caspian Sea. Researchers believe that 80 percent of the pollution of the Caspian Sea is associated with the runoff of water from the Volga and other western rivers from the Republic of Azerbaijan.

Frequent oil spills in the coastal regions of Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, waste from more than 40 factories and oil refineries entering the sea, reduction and disappearance of aquatic species of the Caspian Sea since 1990 are some of the main problems facing the Caspian Sea.

The National Institute of Oceanography and Atmospheric Sciences has conducted extensive research in this catchment area, including more than 10 research expeditions in the Caspian Sea, obtaining certification and establishing a trusted laboratory of the Department of the Environment, identifying points of increased risk of coastline erosion on the seashore.

In addition, sampling of bottom sediments in deep waters of the southern part of the Caspian basin, publishing more than 80 scientific documents on the Caspian Sea, studying, measuring and modeling in the Gorgan Bay and presented scientific and executive solutions for the sustainability of its ecosystem and more than 70 research projects in the southern part Of the Caspian Sea – other actions of scientific research institutes.

Ahmad Reza Lahidjanzade, Deputy Chief of the Department of the Environment (DOE) for Marine Environment, said in August 2020 that waste management in the Caspian Sea is on the brink of a crisis and seriously threatens the marine environment.

In addition to waste, leachate enters the sea through rivers or rainfall, and since leachate pollution is very high, this poses a serious threat to the marine environment, he lamented.

Noting that the discharge of urban and rural wastewater into the sea is another problem that the Caspian Sea is struggling with, he explained that a number of cities in the northern provinces do not have treatment facilities.

Stating that plastic and microplastics are among the problems that could pose a threat to humanity in the next 10 years, he noted that erosion makes microplastics from plastic waste, and 70 percent of it goes directly to the seas, which means it can enter the water and the human food cycle, damaging human health and marine biodiversity.

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