Years ago the Aral Sea was the fourth largest lake in the world. Over the years it was dramatically decreased to 80 % of its size since 1960. Now it is harshly affecting the people who live in this area. Children are being born with birth deformities and the number of people with throat cancer has grown. There is a great loss of fish species’ in the sea because of the toxins in the water from fertilizers used on farms. Also with ports now hundreds of kilometers away from the sea the fishing industry experienced a huge downfall. One of the main causes of this disastrous crisis was the diverting of the water from the two main rivers, Syrdar’ya and Amudar’ya, to irrigate cotton and rice. Evaporation has also a large part in the catastrophic death of the Aral Sea. High evaporation rates have contributed to the increased rate at which the once was glorious and beautiful lake is shrinking.
The salty water in the sea is precipitating out to make a salty crust around it. The salt is then carried in the wind for up to 1000km, causing damage to crops, animals and inhabitants. Luckily, this disaster is slowly but surely being resolved.This could be achieved in many ways. A dam has been built and less water has been taken from the rivers of Syrdar’ya and Amudar’ya. Hopefully with more small but many changes, the Aral Sea will win back its status as the fourth largest lake in the world.
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