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The Aral Sea

A short presentation of the Aral Sea and its problems.

Hannah Wilcox

on 7 June 2010

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Transcript of The Aral Sea

The Aral Sea is an inland salt water sea located
in Central Asia just south west of Kazakhstan.
It is fed by two rivers, the Amu Darya and Syr
Darya. The fresh water from these two rivers,
and the Aral's salt water, left saline levels in
perfect balance. However, the Aral Sea has no
outlet and is therefore an endorheic
basin, a body of water that allows
water to flow into it but does not allow
outflow into other bodies of water. The Aral Sea was once one of the four largest lakes in the world with a surface area of 68 000 square kilometres (roughly eighty times the size of Lake Nipissing’s surface area). However, the lake has been steadily shrinking since the 1960’s due to the large amount of water that is diverted from the rivers that feed it. The shoreline of the once large lake has receded up to 120 kilometres from its original shoreline and is now only about a 10% of its original size. The Aral Sea What is diffrent about the Aral Sea, than other endangered ecosystems is that the affects were brought on by humans, and greatly affected humans.
don't take water for granted
don't dump unwanted things into the water

take 10 mins or less shower, prefer less The Aral Sea is an inland salt water sea, with no outlet; it used to be one of the world's four
largest seas and a very fertile region. Although, the Aral Sea has been greatly affected by humans in the past thirty years between 1960 - 1995. In that time span the Aral Sea's surface area decreased by almost half, three uaters of the water's volume had been lost and finally, the depth of the Aral Sea lowered by about nineteen metres. The reason all of this happened was because the Soveiet Union assigned Kazakhstan to be its main producer of cotton; a plant which needs a lot of water. So, the two rivers that feed the Aral Sea, the Amu Darya and Syr Darya had dams built across them and an 850 mile long canal with a series of "feeder" canals was constructed.

Once this was all complete, millions of acres along the canal were flooded.
The Canals led to feilds of cotton, though because of the large areas of monoculture -only growing one crop- farmer's had to use very large amounts of chemical pesticides.

Then with all of the watering from the canals, the salt was drawn to the top of the soil and it accumulaited there; all the while the pesticides and fertilizers were being blown into the Aral Sea, contaminating drinking water and food for the locals. When the Tahaitash Dam was constructed on the Amu Darya river, there was no water left to flow into the Aral Sea. The sea began to shrink. At first people assumed that the recession of the Sea was only temporary, although the water that did reach the Aral Sea was a mixture of salt and pesticides from the cotton fields.
Today the town of Muynak which used to be along the sea is a desert town, more than one hundred kilometres from the sea. The amount of water in which the Aral Sea has lost is about 75% which is like putting Lake Huron and Lake Erie together.

All twenty known types of fish in the Aral Sea are now extinct and the economic, social and medical problems for humans is unbelievable. It is estimated that 75 million tons of toxic dust and salts, spread across Central Asia each year, if that is the case then if/ when the sea dries up, it will leave 15 billion tons of salt behind. http://orexca.com/aral_sea.shtml Now because of the careless thoughts of humans, the Aral Sea has in some areas retreated to more then 120 km away from the original boundaries. What is the Aral Sea? 1989 2003 2008 The Aral Sea was formed
millions of years ago, when
parts of Kazakhstan and
Uzbekistan were covered
by a massive inland sea.
As time passed, the water
receded leaving only small
parts of the ancient sea.
One of the remnants was
the Aral Sea. Ancient Paratethys Sea In 1918 the Soviet government decided
that the two rivers that fed the Aral Sea would
be diverted to grow crops such as rice, melons
and cotton. However, in the 1960’s, the Soviet
government decided to increase rice production
therefore increasing the amount of water
needed to grow the new crops. This water would
be taken from the Amu Darya and Syr Darya rivers. Cotton Field Melon Field Rice Field Dams were built along both rivers as well
as a main canal with a system of
feeder canals. Millions of acres along the
main canal were flooded. However, many
of the smaller canals were poorly built and
therefore much of the water leaked
and was wasted. How can we help? Reduse, Reuse, Recycle You can donate to the
Aral Sea Foundation Don't dump
unwanted things
into the water More government regulations monitor fish life and in
put measures to sustain control water levels ie.dams factory location use less chemicals Aral Sea By: Hannah Wilcox, Katrina Langevin, & Anna Mroczkowski
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