Lake Urmia is an ancient salt lake in the far east of Iran and is the largest salt lake in the Middle East. The lake used to be an important feeding ground for huge amounts of wildlife and birds and provide the local people with food. Now, due to irrigation and damming projects which block the water flow to the lake, Lake Urmia is emptying fast and very little water remains in what used to be a massive body of water. Due to damming of the tributaries which feed the lake it is now a massive 7 metres shallower.

In this photo: The view of Lake Urmia from a small village in Iran. Environmentalists warn that if the water continues to recede the towns and cities surrounding the lake will be covered with life-threatening dust and salt which will blow straight from the lake and cover the life which once thrived.

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Head On Photo Awards 2024

Entries to the Head On Photo Awards 2024 open in May/June.

Image detail: Gary Ramage