Aral Sea – endorheic salt lake, which is located in Central Asia, on the border of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, long time Aral Sea represent by yourself an environmental disaster. The inflow of water depends on the rivers Syrdarya and Amudarya, but the waters of these rivers are used extensively for irrigation of cotton fields and rice, whereupon water of these rivers practically do not reach to the sea.
Today, the Aral Sea and its surrounding areas have become world-famous as a result of anthropogenic environmental disaster. There are many reasons of the Aral Sea disaster, but as we know the main one is a very sharp reduction in river flow. Earlier in the sea flows into many rivers, but now a lot of water is used for watering, and irri gation, therefore there is no sufficient amount of water for normal functioning of Sea. The influx of the two major river systems Basin – the Amudarya and Syrdarya – almost completely stopped. Still recently, in 1961, the Aral Sea arising in the Turan lowland about 35 thousand years ago exceeded 66 thousand square km. At the moment, the Aral Sea is about 14 square kilometers. Which indicates to the irrational use of water resources of the Aral Sea.
Before the beginning of 1960s, it was the fourth largest lake in the world, second only to the Caspian Sea, Great American lakes and Lake Victoria. In comparison with the year 1961, the sea level fell by 13 meters, the water table dropped by 35 percent and the volume of water by 54 per cent. Almost the entire eastern part of the Aral Sea has become a desert.
For today, on these lands is dangerous to grow fruit and vegetables, because the soil contains a large concentration of pesticides and other chemicals. In the Aral Sea have accumulated billions of tons of toxic salts, which transferred here together with water after flushing of fields. From the bottom of the sea constantly raised tens of millions of tons of salt dust in which a large quantity of poisonous substances, which then carried away by the wind over very long distances. In 1989, the Aral Sea was divided into two-isolated pond – North Aral Sea in Kazakhstan and the South Aral Sea in Uzbekistan.
Aral disaster dramatically worsened the living environment of the region due to air pollution, drinking water and soil. Restoration of environmental conditions suitable for irrigated agriculture and the development of other sectors of the economy, as well as for human habitation, require many investments and long term.Until 1960 in river deltas live more than 70 species of mammals and 319 species of birds. Currently, there are 32 species of mammals and 160 species of birds. Flora of the region was equally spectacular: 1200 species of flowering plants and 560 species of vegetation riparian forests, including 29 endemics of Central Asia.
Since the mid 80’s decided to discontinue the development of new large arrays and implementing large-scale irrigation projects. At the same time, measures were taken to improve the living conditions of the population of the Aral Sea region through the construction of health facilities, water supply, gas supply and other social facilities. In 2003, the government of Kazakhstan has decided to build a dam Kokaral that will raise the level of water in the Small Aral, moreover, has become less salty water, thus the northern part of the Aral Sea is at the stage of salvation. For today in Small Aral started the process of breeding of some varieties of commercial fish.
Also in the current year in Kazakhstan will begin implementation of the second phase of the North Aral project, which involves the restoration of the northern part of the Aral Sea. Now in the Aral Sea area, there are eight fish processing plants and the fish catch amounts to 6 thousand. Tons. At sea, the fish population has increased, now there are more than 27 species. The percentage of salt per liter was 21 grams per liter, now 12, this suggests that the northern part of the Aral Sea is recovering slowly and acquires the previous form. We can identify the main actions, which conducted to restore the Aral Sea
- Restructuring of Agriculture
- Elimination of the mass use of pesticides
- Transition to water-saving irrigation technology
All these actions will help restore the ecosystem of the Aral Sea. The problem of the Aral Sea also drew attention of the United Nations. UN pays special attention to the tragedy of the Aral Sea, and make every effort to help improve the living conditions of people in the region and help to overcome the environmental impacts of the disaster. Is still not too late, we can revive life in the region with clean water in rivers, fertile irrigated soil and revive itself Aral.