Only the Little Sea remains!
1872 map of the Aral Sea
‘Kazakhstan is trying to let a little more water in, but there’s not much that can be done. Much of the water that did fill the sea is needed in other areas or is just gone. The Soviets not only diverted much of the water that went into the sea, they did a horrible job of it, trying to turn the desert into cotton fields. The canals were poorly built and huge amounts of water was wasted. It’s estimated that in the largest canal, anywhere between 30-75% of the water was wasted, either being evaporated or leaked. Now days, much of the population still relies on that same irrigation system. Most of the nations are just to poor and don’t have the capability to improve them.
It’s a vicious domino effect, where taking the water creates a dry, salty desert. Dust storms spread the toxic sand and salt over the irrigated land and more water and pesticides and fertilizer is needed to make the land productive, but they end up in what was the lake bed and is now a desert. Another dust storm picks up and the cycle repeats, destroying both sides of the system.‘–]a_filing_cabinet