The diversion of water from the rivers for agricultural use is probably the most significant cause of Lake Urmia’s decline. Several dams have also been built on rivers that flow into the lake. Since 1996, droughts have further contributed to the lower lake levels.
The lake level is back up because of rainfall in 2018–2019. That may not be a permanent restoration of the lake, so the Iranian government is planning to build dikes to keep remaining water in smaller areas to prevent the rapid evaporation of water from shallow pools.
No single fix can help the lake recover. But the continual monitoring from Landsat helps decision makers plan for the best solutions.