LGVN Environmental - Inland Sea Disasters
20 years the fourth largest inland sea on earth turned into a dry,
contaminated, toxic salt plain.
The Aral Sea,
which crossed between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, was once a thriving
environment until the 1960's when extensive irrigation schemes were
put in place. River water which normally flowed into the Aral from
the Tian Shan Mountains was diverted to irrigate cotton and rice
fields. Now, huge amounts of this diverted water lay as stagnant
pools across the vast, badly managed cotton and rice fields.
As a result the Aral has now lost more than 60% of its water.
square kilometers of former sea bottom is now a dry, toxic wasteland.
Salt and chemical fertilisers blow across these dry plains spreading
the effects of the disaster far and wide. The fish have all died
(since what is left of the sea is a toxic soup) and the health of
the people, animal and plant life around what is left of the Aral
are suffering. Any river water that still reaches the sea is highly
contaminated with pesticides that seep from the rice and cotton
fields. For the people around the Aral Sea, diseases like Typhoid
fever, viral hepatitis, TB, throat cancer, anaemia, and tuberculosis
are rife. Many children are born with defects.
A footnote about
the Aral Sea Disaster: The locals around the Aral sea joke that
if everyone who'd come to study this disaster had brought
a bucket of water, the sea would be full by now.
The Black Sea
looks as if it is following the way of the Aral in terms of concentrated
pollution. Many regions around its northern shores are using the
sea as a dumping ground for chemical toxins. The fish are disappearing
at an alarming rate. Unprincipled fishermen catch whatever they
can, which means younger fish are caught prematurely, not giving
them enough time to spawn a next generation. The results are obvious.
The Dead Sea
As with the
Aral, the level of the Dead Sea is sinking rapidly due to extraction
of water from rivers which supply it. Water from the Jordan and
Yarmuk rivers is being extracted by Syria, Jordan and Israel. Any
remaining water left is mostly evaporating before it can reach the
sea. The Dead Sea is the lowest place on earth, lying in a deep
valley way below normal sea levels and presents a unique environment.
Environmental experts are calling for the revival of a canal project
to ensure that it survives. This would draw water in from the Red
and VeggieGlobal News Copyright.
All rights reserved. www.veggieglobal.com and www.looking-glass.co.uk.
Any unauthorized redistribution or reproduction of part or all of
the contents of these websites in any form is prohibited.
For permissions please use the contact