Maharloo Lake, also known as Salt Lake, with an area of 600 square kilometers, is located 20 kilometers from the metropolis of Shiraz, Fars province of Iran. The lake has been home to many birds such as shelducks and seagulls, especially flamingos, as well as amphibians, reptiles, plants and other living things.
Due to the major drought in recent years, unfortunately, Maharloo Lake, like many wetlands and lakes in Iran, has lost 90% of its water and nothing has been left but reeds and wetlands and the death of the lake has come. The drought of this lake not only destroyed the habitat of animal species in the region, but also put the metropolis of Shiraz and other cities near this lake in danger of salt storms and deadly haze. Water shortage and drought in Maharloo Lake have also caused problems for farmers, as winds move the lake bed salts and eventually cause salinization of agricultural lands. This also led to migration from the surrounding villages, whose economy depended on the lake. Also, the evaporation of Maharloo Lake water increases the pollutants and make them go beyond the allowable limit.
Maharloo Lake has been the victim of climate change, but more than that, the victim of mismanagement. The four important springs around the lake that fed the lake have dried up completely. The influx of sewage and toxic substances, the construction of a dam and the illegal extraction of salt are other causes of death of this beautiful lake. This collection of photos depicts Salt Lake as well as an abandoned school near the lake.
Nazanin Hafez © 2022