Reclaiming the Aral Sea
By: Nikolay V. Aladin & Philip Michelin
- Sea is found in the Central Asia, it has the title of the fourth largest lake in the world by 1960. However it has shrunk 10% of its original size by 2007.
- Due to irresponsible irrigational systems and the deserts along the Amu and Syr rivers caused the shrinkage to occur.
- The sea is now reduced to three lakes, two of which have very high saline concentration hence blocking the possibility of harboring any fish.
- Once flourished with the diversity of fish and other marine wildlife, is now simply dried ocean beds.
- Now even the ocean beds are very harmful to the surrounding communities and villages due to the toxicity and salts that cause several health issues
- In 2005, some of the livelihood of the sea have come back due to the dam created in the northernmost lake; hence reduction of salinity concentrations ans increase of fish population.
- However it appears that the two other rivers that were once fed by the Amu river are going to become dead seas due to its problems unless the Amu river is able to reengineer its water systems and allow it to continuously flourish while helping the other two seas.
- Lakes and rivers worldwide are doomed to similar fate; however they hope tosave some part of the sea through construction of dams and wish to have the same effects it did to the Aral sea.
- Due to this issue shipping to Aral has been discontinued due to the cost being too much to bear.
- The ten percent loss of areais approximately 54,000 square km of seabed; which is now exposed and dried up.
- Despite the temporary solution, much of the are is still shrinking and still have a difficult future to restoration.
- Many rely on the western basin, yet only large scale reengineering can save it; also it costs a lot of mone to restore and fix.
- It hs been since 1980s that restoration projects in the Aral sea have started, many find it now to be an impossible task.
Reflection: I am curious as to what exactly caused the Aral sea to dry up; if it is global warming, and different components that led to its' current state. However I think it is a good example to the future of many different regions of the world. Hopefully people will finally realize that taking from nature will have its consequences and it will no go without one. Loss of livelihood through loss of biodiversity in the ecosystem will tip the balance of nature and cause wreak havoc in both the economy and the environment. People tend to forget that some effects of our decisions will eventually find its way back and finally leave us with more problems than that of which we started with. Now it is more than just finding a way to get back what we havealready destroyed but also to fix that of which we have caused along the way to destruction.