Aral Sea

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  • Aral Sea
    • location
      • far-western Asia
      • located in the countries of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan
      • was once the world 4th largest inland sea
    • irrigation
      • began in 1918
      • soviet union made Kazakhstan the main producer of cotton
        • needs a large supply of water
      • the rivers Amu Darya and Syr Darya were diverted to supply cotton fields
        • starved the aral sea of water
      • 2014 60% of its orginal size
        • if irrigation continued some environmentalists thought it would of disappeared by 2015
      • did not looking into the consequences or were more concerned about the economic benefits
    • economic impacts
      • loss of the fishing industry
        • used to employ 40,000 people
          • 90% unemployment of fishermen
      • destroys agriculture
        • win-blown salt from dried seabed damages crops
        • reduced access to water
      • salt and dust laden air causes respiratory problems
        • decreases work productivity
      • decrease in water cover has increased the possibility of accessing oil reserves
      • influx of refugees trying to get away from the pollution
      • government have to fund money for dams to increase water supply
        • difficult due to the lack of income tax
      • to bring back the Aral sea they need £80 million but no aid agencies will help
    • social impacts
      • salt over load has led to 2/3 of the women being anaemic
        • leading to a high still born birth rate
      • high infant mortality rate
        • 1 in 4 children die
        • declining population
        • by age 1 most babies will have a pollution related illness
      • lack of protein in people diet
      • suffer even more from toxic dust clouds from over use of pesticides
      • sea 60 miles away from the old promenade
      • drastically lowers life expectancy
        • 63 in Kazakhstan and 81 in UK
    • environmental
      • wiped out of the habitat leading to the lack of food resources
        • decrease biodiversity
      • destroy habitat to search for oil
      • aral sea is also heavily polluted largely as the result of weapons testing, industrial projects, pesticides and fertiliser runoff
      • retreat of the sea has led to climate change
        • summer becoming hotter and drier and winters becoming colder and longer


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