Destruction of the Aral Sea UzbekistanCreated by: Michael JolitzGeography 308 Russia and Eastern EuropeProfessor Zoltan GrossmanUniversity of Wisconsin Eau Claire
Water Syr Darya • The Amu Darya, in the west, and the Syr Darya, in the east • Their 600 tributaries take source in the Tien Shan and the Alai highlands. • They feed waterways on their way to the Aral Sea. • The rivers fall short of feeding the Sea properly to sustain it. • The desert has reclaimed a good portion of the Aral Sea and the rest struggles to survive. Amu Darya http://www.panos.org.uk/images/features/0303water.jpg
Rivers http://freenet.kg/gallery/irmela/Thumbs/Thumb_IMG0002.jpg Syr Darya Tributaries http://www.nimbus.it/liguria/rlm03/primo_piano/images/Amu%20Darya%20River.jpg http://www.astronautix.com/graphics/s/syrdarya.jpg Syr Darya Amu Darya The Syr Darya is formed by the confluence of the Naryn and Qoradaryo rivers in the eastern Ferghana Valley With a length of 1,374 miles -1,876 miles including the Naryn—the Syr Darya is the longest river in Central Asia The Amu Darya is formed by the junction of the Vakhsh and Pandj rivers, which rise in the Pamir Mts. of central Asia. Its length is 1,600 miles long
Water and Pollution • Once the 4th biggest inland sea in the world • 53 Meters above sea level • Evaporation – 60 square Kilometers of water each year • Environmental disaster • Large Controversy • Boron Pollution • Phenol Pollution http://enrin.grida.no/aral/aralsea/english/images/diagram/kaz/a_stat01.gif http://enrin.grida.no/htmls/uzbek/env2001/content/soe/english/maps/places3.gif
Agriculture • Upstream irrigation for the growing of rice and cotton consumed more than 90% of the natural flow of water from the Tien Shan mountains. • Sea Surface declined • 27,000 square kilometers of former sea bottom became dry surface • 60% of water volume was lost Simple Irrigation System
Cotton Cotton Harvest, Uzbekistan • Major Uzbekistan Crop since Soviet era • Intense Agriculture • Pesticides • Intense Irrigation • Fertilizers http://images.encarta.msn.com/xrefmedia/sharemed/targets/images/pho/t002/T002695A.jpg http://enrin.grida.no/aral/aralsea/english/images/diagram/taj/v_stat21.gif http://www.pbs.org/journeytoplanetearth/hope/uzbekistan.html
Production http://www.aralfood.com/images/prod.jpg http://www.fas.usda.gov/cotton/circular/1997/97-08/cover/uzbek.gif • thriving environment until the 1960's • extensive irrigation schemes put in place • River water diverted from Tien Shan Mountains, • Would normally have flowed into the Aral sea • Huge amounts of this diverted water lay as stagnant pools across vast, badly managed cotton and rice fields. As a result the Aral has now lost more than 60% of its water.
Rice • South of the Aral Sea • Rice Paddy Fields are shown by the square boxes • This fields have a very high water portion. – shown by Landsat Image • There are also artificial fishing ponds. • Usually filled in early spring helps to allow the fishing industry to survive. http://www.dfd.dlr.de/app/land/aralsee/landsat_mss.html
Livelihood • Once a busy shipping trade between its northern port of Aralsk and the river ports of the Amu-Darya, some as distant as Tajikistan • Aralsk is now landlocked about 100 km from the water. It, like Muynak has fishing boats sitting high and dry on what was once the bottom of the Aral Sea.
Life “blood” • Once abundant fish resources • Once provided a livelihood for several hundred thousand people. • People living around those canals and using those waterways now depends on their existence--the very existence that sucks the life "blood" of the Aral.
Fishing Industry • 20 species of fish • Fish was based on three species of fishes: bream, sazan, Aral roach (vobla). A very valuable fish - Aral barbal and white-eye were caught in the Aral Sea. • Located in coastal areas and rivers mouths. • Annual catching was 300-400 thousand centners (220.46 lbs) of fish. Fish Catching in the Aral Sea (tons)
Fish Bream Sazan Aral roach (vobla).
Wastes • Shrinking steadily, adding to the desertification of the lakebed • Contamination of the region by exposing DDT, chemical pesticides, and natural salts. • Hazardous materials that are strewn about by wind, not only contaminate the food chain, water, and air but cause countless human health disorders. • A number of buried nuclear waste processing and chemical weapons sites that damage the soil.
Salinity • Salinity has increased from 10 grams/liter to 40-50 grams/liter from 1960 to near present. • This is due to the lack of fresh water inflow • Drinking water in the region contains four times more salt per litre than the limit recommended by the World Health Organization
This figure shows areas where the environment in Uzbekistan and the surrounding areas have been severely degradated. • The impact of losing water has caused severe salinization http://www.dfd.dlr.de/app/land/aralsee/salin.html
Salt Pans The white large object on the left border of the image is an artificial salt pan. Discharge water, which is highly contaminated by salt accumulation, is diverted into such pans in order to decrease soil salinity. From these pans the water evaporates totally unused and creates salt crusts and olonchaks. Salt Pan http://www.goacom.com/goatoday/2003/oct/img/TarSaltpan2.jpg http://www.dfd.dlr.de/app/land/aralsee/landsat_tm.html
Health cns.miis.edu/pubs/ dc/briefs/vozipres.htm • TB, • Throat cancer • Tuberculosis • Many children are born with defects. • Typhoid, • Paratyphoid • Hepatitis contaminated drinking water • Intestinal disease • Cancers • Anemia • Dystrophy • Cholera • Dysentery http://www.unesco.org/courier/2000_01/photos/13.jpg The Aral Sea region has one of the world’s highest rates of malformed or handicapped children http://cns.miis.edu/pubs/dc/briefs/images/vos/vos6b.jpg
Climate Effects • Drier shorter summer • Longer Colder Winters • Growing Season now 170 Days • Pasture Productivity declined by Half • Higher Evaporation Rates
Dust Storms • More than 50 days of storms a year • 20-25 meters per second www.nws.noaa.gov/ om/brochures/duststrm.htm http://oemagazine.com
Dust • Aral Sea is located along a powerful air stream running from west to east. • It contributes to aerosol transference into upper layers and fast spread in the atmosphere of the Earth. http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/NewImages/Images/ISS002-ESC-9147.jpg Dust Storm From Aral Region
Effects of Dust Storms • Reduces visibility to less than a quarter mile. • Respiratory ailments, Asthma • Erosion, Desertification, Crop Damage • The erosion loosens up contaminated toxic soils. Erosion
Dust • Traces of pesticides from the Aral region were found in the blood of penguins in the Antarctic • Aral dust has been found on Greenland's glaciers • Norway's forests • Belarus' fields • All situated thousands of kilometers away from Central Asia.
Anthrax • Vozrozhdeniya Island - New York Times Article • “Renaissance Island” • Anthrax Storage Facility • During Gorbachev’s glasnost and perestroika campaign
Vozrozhdeniya Island • The island was once 77 square miles • In 1999 770 Square miles • Fear of Terrorism • Yeltsin vowed in 1992 to clean up • Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan have both independently asked for US help.
Radioactive Waste • MAYLUU-SUU, Kyrgyzstan • Outside the rusting, closed Izolit uranium-processing plant, 23 radioactive waste sites exist in the landslide-prone hills • Could spill poison into the river below and on to the most populous region of Central Asia. • About 70 million cubic feet of tailings left from refining uranium ore during the Soviet era are buried in this mountain valley along the Mayluu-Suu River. • Fergana Valley, the region's agricultural heartland with 12 million inhabitants.
Radioactive Waste • In Kazakhstan, huge mining and metallurgy complexes were built • They have never been modernized • Intense local air pollution. • In the west of Kyrgyzstan, radioactive waste from uranium plants is stocked without protection and risks polluting the rivers in neighboring Uzbekistan. • These Eventually may reach the Aral Sea.
Kazakhstan Coal Mound on Roadside Kazakhstan Factory
Radioactive Waste Concentration of Radioactive Waste Storage in the Ferghana Valley Biological Waste Facility Shown in Aral Sea
Neutralization of the Problem • 1980’s cultivation of new large irrigated areas banned • Large scale water resource projects introduced • 1993 – Crosspiece Divided Aral Sea and water from the Syrdarya was diverted back into one part. Vegetation started to recover and salinity decreased. • It was destroyed in 1999 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 again by now.
Bibliography • Aral Sea - http://enrin.grida.no/aral/aralsea/english/arsea/arsea.htm#8 • http://www.dfd.dlr.de/app/land/aralsee/salin.html • Earth Observatory Nasa - http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/NewImages/images.php3?img_id=4819 • New York Times - http://www.phaster.com/unpretentious/uzbekistan_anthrax.html • Washington Times - http://www.washtimes.com/world/20040305-100450-8640r.htm • The Water Page - http://www.thewaterpage.com/aral.htm • Veggie Global - http://www.veggieglobal.com/ggl/united-oceans.htm • http://www.britannica.com