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Interactive comment on “Quantifying the impacts of human water use and climate variations on recent drying of Lake Urmia basin: the value of different sets of spaceborne and in-situ data for calibrating a hydrological model” by Seyed-Mohammad Hosseini-Moghari et al.
  • Sina Khatami
Sina Khatami
University of Melbourne

Corresponding Author:sina.khatami@unimelb.edu.au

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The present study aims to quantify (estimate) the impact of human water consumption—as for irrigation, livestock, domestic, manufacturing, and thermal energy production—versus (natural) climatic variability on the water balance and storage of the Lake Urmia (LU) basin and consequently the lake desiccation during the past decades. This is indeed a curious question with high practical relevance, given the ongoing drying of the lake and scientific debates around possible causes and viable remedies. One of the strength of the study is incorporating multiple input data (both ground and remote sensing) in developing the basin’s hydrologic model. The authors have also attempted to include the groundwater data which is highly important in this basin, and has been ignored in many (not all) of the previous studies. I enjoyed reading the paper, however, as the other reviewers have already pointed out there are major shortcomings that call for a major revision. In the spirit of helping the authors to improve the manuscript, I’d like to further comment on a number of—I believe—major deficiencies and questionable assumptions of the study that undermine the reliability of their results and discussion, given my own (limited) knowledge/experience in studying the lake’s dynamics and desiccation [Khatami, 2013; Khatami and Berndtsson, 2013; Khazaei et al., in review]. I hope the authors would find my comments useful in highlighting the new insights and contribution of their study.