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    Water in Russia’s Lake Baikal Falls Below Critical Level

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    The level of water in Lake Baikal continues to decline due to the water shortage, with the last few days witnessing the level drop to 455.91 meters, which is 9 centimeters below the critical level.

    The level of water in Lake Baikal continues to decline due to the water shortage, with the last few days witnessing the level drop to 455.91 meters, which is 9 centimeters below the critical level, a representative of the working group of the Government Commission on the Prevention of Emergencies said on Wednesday.

    At the end of the 20th century Lake Baikal entered a prolonged period of water supply shortage, which could last up to 22-24 years. This means that during this period the annual influx of water into the lake is 10-15% less than the mean annual value should be.

    "The water level in the lake is still falling, it is now at the level of 455.91 meters," the representative said.

    At present, the level of Lake Baikal is limited by a provision of the Government of Russian Federation passed on March 26, 2001 №234. The document sets the acceptable minimum level of water at 456 meters, and the maximum at 457 meters.

    However, it was reported that the water level defined by this provision, especially its lowest level, has no serious validity behind it.

    According to the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry, the flow of water into the lake in the summer and autumn of 2014 was only 67% of the normal level. The Russian government has declared the Irkutsk region and Buryatia as ‘high alert’ zones, in connection with the lake’s extremely low water level.


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