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Aral sea - an ecological disater


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Aral sea was on of the 4th largest lake. but due to mismanagement of the water resource, it became dry and is one of the the worst environmental disasters.

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Aral sea - an ecological disater

  1. 1. The Aral Sea: An Ecological Disaster Farhana.K 2120200095 7th Sem, 4-year B.Planning, SPAVijayawada 1
  2. 2. Introduction 2 Aral sea in 1960: The Soviet Union diverted the Amu Darya and Syr Darya Rivers for irrigation of one of the driest parts of Asia to produce rice, melons, cereals, and especially cotton. The Soviets wanted cotton or “white gold” to become a major export. They were successful and today Uzbekistan is one of the world's largest exporters of cotton and Unfortunately this action essentially eliminated any river inflow to the Aral Sea and caused it to disappear almost completely. At the middle of the twentieth century the Aral Sea was the world’s fourth largest lake, with a surface area of approx. 66,900 km2 and a volume of 1,090 km3 .  The Aral Sea Historically a saline lake, was Fed by the Amu Darya and Syr Darya. Source: The Aral Sea Disaster-Philip Micklin •It lies in the republics of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan in central Asia. •The Aral Sea drainage basin encompasses Uzbekistan and parts of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. •Aral Sea has been steadily shrinking since the 1960s. •The shrinking of the Aral Sea has been called "one of the planet's worst environmental disasters"
  3. 3. Causes  In the 1960s Central Asia was assigned the role of ‘supplier of raw materials’  Population doubled to 27 million by the 1980s  The Amu Darya delta was used to grow rice and cotton  Rapid irrigation development:  4.5million ha in 1960  7million ha in 1980 3
  4. 4. Timeline 4 •1960: the Soviet Union undertook a major water diversion project on the arid plains of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan. The region’s two major rivers were diverted for irrigation. •Although irrigation made the desert bloom, it devastated the Aral Sea. 2001: the southern connection had been severed, and the shallower eastern part retreated rapidly over the next several years. 2005-2009: Especially large retreats in the eastern lobe of the Southern Sea occurred, when drought limited and then cut off the flow of the Amu Darya. As the lake dried up, fisheries and the communities that depended on them collapsed. The increasingly salty water became polluted with fertilizer and pesticides. The blowing dust from the exposed lakebed, contaminated with agricultural chemicals, became a public health hazard. 2009-2014: Water levels then fluctuated annually in alternately dry and wet years. Dry conditions in 2014 caused the Southern Sea’s eastern lobe to completely dry up for the first time in modern times. The salty dust blew off the lakebed and settled onto fields, degrading the soil. Croplands had to be flushed with larger and larger volumes of river water. The loss of the moderating influence of such a large body of water made winters colder and summers hotter and drier.
  5. 5. Degradation over the years 5 This part of the Aral Sea is showing major year-to-year variations that are dependent on flow of Amu Darya. Source: NASA, Encyclopædia Britannica
  6. 6. Issues 6  The Aral sea began to shrink.  Increased salinisation: The mineral content of the lake went from 10g/L to 40g/L (sea water is 35g/L). This was poisonous to most species of fish and other wildlife. 60,000 people abandoned their livelihoods in fishing.  Health issues: Chemicals and salts had contaminated the surface and ground water supplies leading to TB, Cancers, heart problems, asthma and blood diseases increased dramatically  Increased mortality rate (especially children).  Desertification:  The central planners had not foreseen the possibility of desertification: by 1990 .95% of wetlands and marshes had become deserts. The climate of the region was changed.  Dust storms occur on 90 days per year.  Exposed soils are erroded by strong NE winds: every year 100 million tonnes of chemical and salt laden dust is blown for thousands of miles.
  7. 7. Current Situation • Water levels have decreased significantly • Salinity has increased six-fold • Basin climate has changed • Wind erosion is increased • Salt deposits are increasing, causing damage to crops, power lines, and land fertility as well as introducing health problems • Aquifer levels have dropped and aquifer water quality is deteriorated • Forest areas have declined • Lake navigation is impossible • Fish stocks are gone • Cancer occurrences are on the rise 7 Due to decades of improper allocation of water resources, the current status of the Aral Sea is quite grim. Results of mismanagement include the following:
  8. 8. Aral Sea Today (Ecologically) 10 % of it’s original size Water level has dropped approximately 23 meters Water resources polluted and severely mismanaged 6 kinds of fish vs. 32 kinds in the original waters 160 kinds of birds vs. 319 kinds in the original ecology 32 kinds of mammals vs. 70 kinds originally More than 50 large lakes around the area have dried up Mass deforestation along Amudaria river bed 8
  9. 9. Aral Sea Today Socially & Economically 130,000 people were affected US$115 mln - accumulated economic losses US$28.8 mln – accumulated social losses High inflation, unemployment and poverty rates No drinking water within the radius of 200 km High mortality rates including infant mortality High number of life-threatening diseases 9
  10. 10. International community involved 10 4 projects - 140M US$ Decontamination of the Anthrax burial sites Aral Sea Area Drought Relief Project - 150000$ UN Aral Sea Programme: This organization has had two primary foci: strengthening regional organizations that have been established to deal with the Aral crisis and promoting sustainable development to improve conditions for the several million people who live in the disaster zone adjacent to the sea.
  11. 11. Solutions  Islamabad Initiative on Saving and Rehabilitation of Aral Sea: An Islamabad-based think tank, Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) has established a working group on saving the Aral Sea, which will focus only on transboundary water management and the environmental, economic and energy issues of Central Asia.  Aral Sea Basin program : In 1994, the five countries: Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Turkmenistan adopted the Aral Sea Basin Program. 11 The Program’s four objectives were: To stabilize the environment of the Aral Sea Basin To rehabilitate the disaster area around the sea To improve the management of the international waters of the Aral Sea Basin To build the capacity of institutions at the regional and national level to advance the program’s aims.
  12. 12. ASBP ASBP: Phase One  The first phase of the plan effectively began with the first involvement from the World Bank in 1992 till 1997.  It was ineffectual for a number of reasons, but mainly because it was focused on improving directly the land around the Aral Sea, whilst not intervening in the water usage upstream. ASBP: Phase Two  Phase Two of the Aral Sea Basin program , where the scheme was drawn by world bank followed in 1998 and ran for five years. The main shortcomings of phase two were due to its lack of integration with the local communities involved. ASBP Phase Three  In 1997, a new plan was conceived which would continue with the previous restoration efforts of the Aral Sea. The main aim of this phase was to improve the irrigation systems currently in place, whilst targeting water management at a local level.  The largest project in this phase is the North Aral Sea Project, a direct effort to recover the northern region of the Aral Sea. 12
  13. 13. North Aral Sea Project- Status  Work is being done to restore in part of North Aral Sea. Irrigation works on the Syr Darya have been repaired and improved to increase its water flow.  2003: the Kazakh government announced a plan to build Dike Kokaral, a concrete dam separating the two halves of the Aral Sea.  2005:Work on this dam was completed; since then, the water level of the North Aral has risen, and its salinity has decreased.  2006: Some recovery of sea level has been recorded, sooner than expected. Economically significant stocks of fish have returned. The restoration reportedly gave rise to long-absent rain clouds and possible microclimate changes, bringing tentative hope to an agricultural sector swallowed by a regional dustbowl, and some expansion of the shrunken sea. 13
  14. 14. Solution  The UNDP attempted to provide clean water to 426 communities. However many pumps were faulted or installed incorrectly.  With US funding, the Agency for International Development has implemented two projects:  A reverse osmosis plant at Dashhowuz in Turkmenistan  Chlorination facilities in the Amu Darya Delta  The International Aral Sea Rehabilitation Fund (IFAS) and 55 Muslim countries have raised funds to begin a range of programmes to stabilise the ecosystem and improve water management.  800 large water-pipe systems have been installed, bringing fresh water to 29 settlements.  Additionally, created hospitals, jobs and pension plans to assist those directly and indirectly affected by disease and unemployment. 14
  15. 15. Conclusion  It can be observed that the Aral Sea crisis is the result of a large and brutal human impact, followed by the interaction between complex mechanisms present in nature.  The fragility of the balance present in nature combined with vast and abrupt changes due to human society triggered an immensely complex set of changes in the environment, some of which were irreversible.  Thresholds have been crossed, and while that cannot be changed, it is still worth the effort of reversing some of the feedback loops. 15
  16. 16. Reference  The Aral Sea: An Ecological Disaster By: I.Rudenko And J.P.A.Lamers  An Independent Evaluation Of The World Bank’s Support Of Regional Programs :Case Study Of The Aral Sea Water And Environmental Management Project By Shawki Barghouti  Introduction To Environmental Management: Politics, Policy And Management ,Case Study 3 The Aral Sea, Kazakhstan And Uzbekistan 16 Thank You