Formerly one of the four largest lakes of the world with an area of 68.000 km2, the Aral Sea has been steadily shrinking since the 1960’s after the rivers that fed it were diverted to irrigation projects.
By 2007, it had declined to 10% of its original size, splitting into four smaller lakes. The Aral Sea used to be blessed with 1.534 islands that fishermen used to feed the communities.
Uzbekistan became the world’s largest cotton exporter, in the sixties known as the ‘white gold’. Because many of the irrigation canals we poorly build, allowing water to leak or evaporate the project turned bad.
New restoration initiatives have stranded so far. The ecosystems of the Aral Sea and the river deltas feeding into it, have nearly been destroyed.
Crickey Conservation Society.