What can be done to avert this calamity? The scheme was drawn up by the World Bank, government representatives, and various technical experts, without consulting those who would be affected. The Soviet government decided in the s to divert those rivers so that they could irrigate the desert region surrounding the Sea in order to favor agriculture rather than supply the Aral Sea basin.
However, very few legal obligations are binding these contracts, particularly on an international stage. Scientific expeditions proved this had been a site for production, testing and later dumping of pathogenic weapons. Dry years in the early s and mids accelerated water shortages in the region.
Therefore the diversion of rivers is at the origin of the imbalance that caused the sea to slowly desiccate over the last 4 decades.
Phase Three[ edit ] Ina new plan was conceived which would continue with the previous restoration efforts of the Aral Sea. Liver, kidney, and eye problems can also be attributed to the toxic dust storms. Now, in a disaster of unprecedented magnitude and rapidity, the Aral Sea is disappearing as we watch.
The reason why we decided to explore the implications up to today of this human alteration of the environment is precisely that certain characteristics of the region, from its geography to its population growth, account for dramatic consequences since the canals have been dug.
The inflow of groundwater into the South Aral Sea will probably not in itself be able to stop the desiccation, especially without a change in irrigation practices.
As a result, the land around the Aral Sea is heavily polluted, and the people living in the area are suffering from a lack of fresh water and health problemsincluding high rates of certain forms of cancer and lung diseases.
Smaller lakes within the Aral Sea that have stopped being fed by river flows tend to have higher salinity due to evaporation, causing some or all fishes that either survived or had been reintroduced in the s to die.
In normal conditions, the Aral Sea gets approximately one fifth of its water supply through rainfall, while the rest is delivered to it by the Amu Darya and Syr Darya rivers.
Also destroyed is the muskrat -trapping industry in the deltas of the Amu Darya and Syr Darya, which used to yield as many aspelts a year. There was considerable concern amongst the Central Asian governments, which realised the importance of the Aral Sea in the ecosystem and the economy of Central Asia, and they were prepared to cooperate, but they found it difficult to implement the procedures of the plan.
Thus, the difficulty lies as much in understanding the way climate and other natural systems function as in being capable of weighing the potential consequences of our actions before we undertake them. More than 35 million people are threatened by this disaster. As the water supply of the Aral Sea decreased, the demand for cotton increased and the government reacted by pouring more pesticides and fertilizer onto the land.
Salinity of the remaining water has tripled and almost no aquatic life remains.
The receding sea has left huge plains covered with salt and toxic chemicals resulting from weapons testingindustrial projects, and pesticides and fertilizer runoff.
Even re-watering those lakes does not compensate for the increased salinity over the years. Surface levels dropped 42 ft; mturning 11, mi2 30, km2, about the size of the state of Maryland of former seabed into a salty, dusty desert.
Inefficient irrigation practices drained away the lifeblood of the lake. As of [update]some recovery of sea level has been recorded, sooner than expected.
Salinity of the rivers varies with place and time, as well as through the seasons. Soviet authorities were warned that the sea would die without replenishment, but sacrificing a remote desert lake for the sake of economic development seemed an acceptable tradeoff.
Work is being done to restore in part the North Aral Sea. Murray compared the system to the slavery system in the pre-Civil War United States; forced labor was used, and profits were siphoned off by the powerful and well-connected.
Flowing northward from the Pamir Mountains on the Afghan border, these rivers pick up salts as they cross the Kyzyl Kum and Kara Kum deserts. In the deepest parts of the sea, the bottom waters were saltier than the top, and not mixing. All of this has resulted in an unusually high fatality rate among vulnerable parts of the population: More efficient irrigation might save as much as half the water now lost without reducing crop yields, but lack of funds and organization in the newly autonomous nations makes new programs and improvements almost impossible.
The decline of the North Aral has now been partially reversed following construction of a dam see belowbut the remnants of the South Aral continue to disappear and its drastic shrinkage has created the Aralkuma desert on the former lake bed.
Only excess water from the North Aral Sea is now periodically allowed to flow into the largely dried-up South Aral Sea through a sluice in the dike.The Aral Sea is situated in Central Asia, between the Southern part of Kazakhstan and Northern Uzbekistan. Up until the third quarter of the 20th century it was the world?s fourth largest saline lake, and contained 10grams of salt per liter.
inland body of salt water in SW Asia, east of the Caspian Sea: slowly decreasing in area, partly from overuse for irrigation: c. 15, sq mi (40, sq km): formerly also called Lake Aral Webster’s New World College Dictionary, 4th Edition. Doctor Paddy Ryan SCI 7 January The Aral Sea The Aral Sea use to be the forth-largest saline sea in the world, that is until in the s.
The former Soviet Union diverted the two rivers that fed the Aral Sea, to make water available to the surrounding cotton fields and other crop farming regions in the desert like area.
Aral Sea (Aralskoye More) Inland sea in central Asia, sw Kazakstan and nw Uzbekistan. Once the world's fourth largest inland body of water, it has no outlet, contains many small islands and is fed by the rivers Syrdarya in the ne and Amudarya (Oxus) in the s.
It is generally shallow and only slightly saline. Inthe Aral Sea had been the world's fourth-largest lake, with an area around 68, km 2 (26, sq mi) and a volume of 1, km 3 ( cu mi); byit had dropped to 28, km 2 (11, sq mi) and eighth ultimedescente.comon: Kazakhstan - Uzbekistan, Central Asia.
Aral Sea Once the world's fourth largest lake, this saline lake has shrunk since the s after water from the Syr Darya and Amu Darya rivers was diverted for agricultural development.
The shrinking of the lake has been called one of the planet's worst environmental disasters.Download