The shores of the Caspian Sea in northern `Iran

Caspian Sea Levels Dropping At Alarming Rate, Worsened By Russian Dams

Thursday, 11/16/2023

Ahmad Tavakoli, the head of the Civil Coordination in Mazandaran Province, has warned about a significant decline in the Caspian Sea water level, dropping by about four meters since the 1970s.

Tavakoli attributed the change in the world's largest lake to “substantial precipitation and the annual water flow", Iran recently blaming Russia for the crisis, emphasizing the closure of vital entrances, especially the Volga River.

Ali Salajegheh, the head of the Iranian Department of Environment, said the ecological challenge posed by the situation reveals a reduction of approximately one meter over the past 4-5 years, with an average annual recession of 20 centimeters.

His rare criticism against Russia, one of Iran's strongest allies, raised concerns about the ecological impact of dams constructed on the Volga River and the potential damage to delicate ecosystems relying on the Caspian Sea's waters

According to the Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst, it says: "This will have significant and serious implications, including a decline of the sea water level, a considerable retreat of the sea and increase of the land and coastal area especially in upstream countries (Russia and Kazakhstan), challenges to the operation of ports and shipping, as well as environmental consequences, particularly the drying of protected areas and wetlands."

It warned that the water level of the Caspian Sea has decreased by one meter in recent years and could drop by 9 to 18 meters by the end of the 21st century.

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