Damming. By the year 2000, the Aral sea, due to extensive damming, had reduced to about 25% of its original size. This decimated wildlife populations and ruined local fishing communities. In recent years, the government of Kazakhstan has launched a rescue program, which has succeeded in restoring some wildlife to the area. The Aral sea, however, is still less than half its original depth.
It was once the world’s fourth-largest lake, but Central Asia’s Aral Sea has shrunk by 90 per cent in the past 50 years what has been described as one of the planet’s ‘most shocking environmental disasters.’
The sea, which borders Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan and was once 26,000 square miles, has dried up significantly since the 1960s when the rivers that fed it were largely diverted in a Soviet project to boost cotton production in the arid region.
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