Optimism for the Aral Sea ?


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. The two rivers that feed it are the Amu Darya and Syr Darya rivers, respectively reaching the Sea through the South and the North.

 The Soviet government decided in the 1960s 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. The demise of the Aral Sea in central Asia was caused primarily by the diversion of the inflowing Amu Dar’ya and Syr Dar’ya rivers to provide irrigation water for local croplands.

These diversions dramatically reduced the river inflows, causing the Aral Sea to shrink by more than 50%, to lose two-thirds of its volume, and to greatly increase its salinity. At the current rate of decline, the Aral Sea has the potential to disappear
However A new study using data from NASA satellite missions finds that, although the long-term water picture for the Aral Sea watershed in Central Asia remains bleak, short-term prospects are better than previously thought.

Read more on the Science daily website >>

NASA satellite images of the Aralsea >>>

A map about watermanagement in Central Asia >>

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