The Gavkhuoni wetland in central Iran has totally dried up and just two or three percent of its northern part has water, risking grave consequences to the local ecosystem and country's water supply.
“The release of water in February of last year caused the wetland to become wet by six or seven percent, but because this water flow did not continue and we faced the hot season, it was ineffective,” Hossein Akbari, Deputy of Environmental Protection of Esfahan (Isfahan) Province told Thursday.
Akbari further pointed out that a total of about 15 million cubic meters of water and sewage reached the wetland last year (ending on March 21) which was ineffective for Gavkhouni's regeneration.
A salt marsh with a salinity of 31.5% and an average depth of about one meter, the wetland is home to a variety of migratory birds including flamingos, ducks, geese, gulls, pelicans, and grebes.
Since 1900, nearly 64% of the world's wetlands have disappeared, and 35% have vanished since 1970, according to the Global Wetland Outlook 2021.
Many of Iran's wetlands are already on the verge of extinction. The country is known to have 141 wetlands spread across three million hectares.
As a result of the fast-disappearing wetlands, the country has suffered a growing water crisis, which has fueled anger and discontent. The annual rainfall has plummeted to almost one-third of the global average, with the majority of provinces increasingly arid.