In the picture above you can see the before (left) and the after (right). This is a lake lying between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, called Aral sea. This lake started shrinking in the 1960s and had largely dried up by the 2010s.
The Aral Sea was the 4th largest inland lake in the world and it was providing a wealth of important ecosystem services to communities. It provided work for 40,000 people who now consider the Aral Sea just a memory.
The shrinking of the Aral Sea has been called “one of the planet’s worst environmental disasters”. The region’s once-prosperous fishing industry has been devastated, bringing unemployment and economic hardship. A large number of people are not aware of what happened which is devastating!
But what caused this?
The Aral Sea in Central Asia has been losing water for half a century — ever since Soviet engineers began diverting the two rivers that sustain it, the Amu Darya and Syr Darya, in order to grow cotton in the desert.
The loss of sea water was the result of 60 years of intensive agriculture and pollution by the Soviet authorities.
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