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Biology Articles » Hydrobiology » Freshwater Biology » Urmia Lake (Northwest Iran): a brief review » Exploitation

Exploitation
- Urmia Lake (Northwest Iran): a brief review

Alipour [17] concluded that salts, except for halite, are generally lower in Urmia Lake compared to its sister, the Great Salt Lake in the USA, particularly those of K+. The latter consideration might make potassium recovery uneconomical in comparison to the Great Salt Lake. Sodium chloride has been obtained from solar evaporation ponds around Urmia Lake for a very long time, probably since the first humans populated the region. At present, 450 thousand tons of salt is recovered from the lake annually, of which four hundred thousand tons are used for production of NaCO3 in the city of Maragheh in the southeast corner of Urmia Lake, and the remaining fifty thousand tons are produced by small private operators for export and domestic use in villages around the lake [20,17]. In comparison, the salt industry at the Great Salt Lake generates more than 32,000 ha of solar-evaporation ponds for an annual production of more than two million tons of sodium chloride and other products (potassium sulfate, magnesium metal, chlorine gas, magnesium chloride products and certain nutritional supplements) all by a few large companies [38-41].

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