[The Aral Sea, a large saltwater lake, is losing more than half of its surface area in 40 years.]

Uzbekistan, a land-locked country that was once part of the Soviet Union, is home to one of the biggest man-made disasters in history. For decades its rivers were diverted to grow cotton on arid land, causing the Aral Sea, a large saltwater lake, to lose more than half of its surface area in 40 years.

[The draining of the Aral Sea. via Earth Observatory]

COMMENTS / 8 COMMENTS

[...] There is also a really interesting blog I found on the Aral Sea called Infranet lab [...]

The Aral Sea : kscrimsh added these pithy words on Feb 05 10 at 1:41 am

These pictures show how easily our water source can be depleted. We need to start taking better care of our valuable sources!

Emily added these pithy words on Nov 18 08 at 3:56 pm

Terrible! It was an ecological disaster.

Josh added these pithy words on Feb 02 09 at 3:51 pm

Is there anything the goverment do to restore the lake? Or is there anything UNO do to push the government?

leonhart added these pithy words on Sep 13 09 at 11:31 am

They ARE working on it, Kazakhstan has made alot of progress but Uzbekhistan has pretty much given up. Display Text

vykkdraygo added these pithy words on Oct 26 09 at 10:01 am

someone asked if there''s anything the government can do to fix the problem. That''s the problem to begin with, people run to the government for answers/solutions. They"ve got your brains washed with the Diocletian way of thinking (problem/reaction/solution). I read today that it is the government that caused this problem. Russia cut off the rivers to this lake to provide for their cotton industry, which is why it''s now, as of today, 90% depleted.

Patrick added these pithy words on Apr 04 10 at 2:45 pm

this is reminiscent of the days of the old west in the U.S., Ranchers would divert water (entire streams from one area to another in order to raise cattle or whatever… and the result of such usually meant that one rancher would prosper and another would resort to violence to get back what he thought was justly everyone''s.. "free flowing water", a gift of nature. It seems that here we have the same thing going on, only the more powerful of the users of the water (cotton fields) is not going to just roll over and give up the prosperity.. this will be the cause for possibly War, people can only be pushed so far.. unless the tuck their tail and roll over, what a shame that greed has caused such… who would have thought we on this planet could dry up such a vast amount of water in what? 10 years

Woody added these pithy words on Apr 04 10 at 6:22 pm

Mono Lake, Owens Lake in California? Owens Lake is gone…Mono Lake would be had the Mono Lake Committee not gotten involved. See if I can post pics…

Mono Lake has is 10 feet higher than it was at its lowest. Litigation forced L. A. to stop diverting as much as it was. If the rivers that feed the Aral Sea are allowed to flow into the basin again, the sea would come back substantially. Will the politics of the region ever allow it to happen? Hopefully some day.

Dude added these pithy words on Apr 05 10 at 10:12 am

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