The Aral Sea Environment

With remarkable vision, Prof. Otto Hutzinger initiated The Handbook of Envir- mental Chemistry in 1980 and became the founding Editor-in-Chief.

The Aral Sea Environment

With remarkable vision, Prof. Otto Hutzinger initiated The Handbook of Envir- mental Chemistry in 1980 and became the founding Editor-in-Chief. At that time, environmental chemistry was an emerging ?eld, aiming at a complete description of the Earth’s environment, encompassing the physical, chemical, biological, and geological transformations of chemical substances occurring on a local as well as a global scale. Environmental chemistry was intended to provide an account of the impact of man’s activities on the natural environment by describing observed changes. While a considerable amount of knowledge has been accumulated over the last three decades, as re?ected in the more than 70 volumes of The Handbook of Environmental Chemistry, there are still many scienti?c and policy challenges ahead due to the complexity and interdisciplinary nature of the ?eld. The series will therefore continue to provide compilations of current knowledge. Contri- tions are written by leading experts with practical experience in their ?elds. The Handbook of Environmental Chemistry grows with the increases in our scienti?c understanding, and provides a valuable source not only for scientists but also for environmental managers and decision-makers. Today, the series covers a broad range of environmental topics from a chemical perspective, including methodol- ical advances in environmental analytical chemistry.

The Aral Sea

The book is structured into six core parts. The first part sets the scene and explains how the use of Aral basin water resources, primarily used for irrigation, have destroyed the Aral Sea.

The Aral Sea

The book is structured into six core parts. The first part sets the scene and explains how the use of Aral basin water resources, primarily used for irrigation, have destroyed the Aral Sea. The team explains how spheres and events interact and the related problems. Part 2 examines the social consequences of the ecological catastrophe and the affect of the Aral Sea desiccation on cultural and economic conditions of near Aral region. Part 3 explores the scientific causes of the destruction using detailed analyses and data plus some of their own research spanning aquatic biology, terrestrial biology, hydrology, water management and biodiversity. They also share some of the latest archaeological discoveries and paleobotanical analysis to delineate past levels and characteristics of the Aral Sea. There is particular focus on modern remote sensing and GIS techniques and how they can monitor the Aral Sea and the environment. Part 4 discusses regional and international initiatives to mitigate human and ecological problems of the Aral Sea and the wider political and economic consequences. With thorough insight of the total environment cost, the final chapters of the book will provide lessons for the future. There are insightful case studies throughout. Multidisciplinary by nature, all titles in our new reference book series will explore significant changes within the Earth’s ecosystems and to some extent, and will tackle ways to think about our changing environment.

The Aral Sea Environment

In: Kostianoy AG, Kosarev AN (eds) The Aral Sea environment. The handbook of environmental chemistry, Springer, Berlin Bortnik VN (1999) Alteration of water level and salinity of the Aral Sea. Creeping environmental problems and ...

The Aral Sea Environment

With contributions by numerous experts

The Aral Sea Basin

This book analyses the environmental, human and economic problems that have arisen and presents recommendations for future research needs.

The Aral Sea Basin

The Aral Sea Basin, which is located in the central Asian part of the former Soviet Union, is undergoing dramatically rapid and intense environmental change. Pervasive human misuse and overuse of its water, land, and other critical natural resources have led to severe degradation of key ecological systems. This book analyses the environmental, human and economic problems that have arisen and presents recommendations for future research needs. Primary focus is on the drying of the Aral Sea, but related issues of diminished river flow, land and water pollution, and degradation, ecosystem deterioration, and adverse effects on humans are also examined.

The Inter Relationship Between Irrigation Drainage and the Environment in the Aral Sea Basin

During its use, however, this drained part of the water accumulates salts and chemicals. The disposal of this polluted water causes a variety of (environmental) problems.

The Inter Relationship Between Irrigation  Drainage and the Environment in the Aral Sea Basin

The irrigated area in the Aral Sea basin totals about 7. 5 million hectare. Part of the water supplied to this area is consumed by the irrigated crop; the remainder of the supplied water drains to the groundwater basin, to downstream depressions, or back to the rivers. During its use, however, this drained part of the water accumulates salts and chemicals. The disposal of this polluted water causes a variety of (environmental) problems. If the percentage consumed water of the total water supply to an irrigated area (the so-called overall consumed ratio) can be increased, less water needs to be drained. This alleviates part of the related (environmental) problems. Further, if the overall consumed ratio for the above 7. 5 million hectare is improved, less water needs to be diverted from the rivers. Hence, more water can flow towards the Aral Sea. As mentioned above, part of the non-consumed irrigation water drains to the groundwater basin. Commonly, the natural discharge capacity of this basin is insufficient to handle this imported water. As a result, the groundwater table rises towards the land surface causing waterlogging. In (semi-)arid zones this waterlogging triggers a soil salinity problem resulting to a significant reduction in crop yields. The artificial increase of the discharge capacity, and lowering of the groundwater table, solves the soil salinity problem.

The Aral Sea Encyclopedia

The ‘‘Aral Sea Encyclopedia’’ is the first one in the new series of encyclopedias about the seas of the former Soviet Union.

The Aral Sea Encyclopedia

The ‘‘Aral Sea Encyclopedia’’ is the first one in the new series of encyclopedias about the seas of the former Soviet Union. Preparing it we faced certain difficulties. The thing is that this encyclopedia is a monument to the sea that is disappearing during our lifetime. The world community considers the situation with the Aral Sea and all changes that occurred in its whereabouts in the recent decades as one of the most serious, if not disastrous anthropogenic environmental crises of the 20th century. Before 1960, this was a water-abundant sea-lake that was fourth among world lakes after the Caspian Sea (USSR, Iran), the Great Lakes (USA, Canada) and Victoria Lake (Africa). This was a real ‘‘pearl’’ among the sands of the largest deserts, the Karakums and the Kyzylkums. Navigation between the sea ports Muinak and Aralsk and fisheries famous for the Aral breams, barbells, sturgeons, shemaya, and others were developed here. One could find beautiful recreational zones and beaches here. The deltas of the Amudarya, the major river of Central Asia, and the Syrdarya bringing their waters into the Aral Sea were famous for their biodiversity, fishery, muskrat rearing, reed prod- tion. The local population found occupations related to the water infrastructure.

Creeping Environmental Problems and Sustainable Development in the Aral Sea Basin

This multidisciplinary 1999 book comprehensively describes the slow onset of low grade but incremental changes (i.e. creeping environmental change) which affected the region and its peoples.

Creeping Environmental Problems and Sustainable Development in the Aral Sea Basin

Environmental degradation in the Aral Sea basin has been a touchstone for increasing public awareness of environmental issues. The Aral crisis has been touted as a 'quiet Chernobyl' and as one of the worst human-made environmental catastrophes of the twentieth century. This multidisciplinary 1999 book comprehensively describes the slow onset of low grade but incremental changes (i.e. creeping environmental change) which affected the region and its peoples. Through a set of case studies, it describes how the region's decision-makers allowed these changes to grow into an environmental and societal nightmare. It outlines many lessons to be learned for other areas undergoing detrimental creeping environmental change, and provides an important example of how to approach such disasters for students and researchers of environmental studies, global change, political science and history.

Did the Desire for Cotton Self Sufficiency Lead to the Aral Sea Environmental Disaster

The desiccation of the Aral Sea was one of the greatest environmental disasters of the latter part of the twentieth century.

Did the Desire for Cotton Self Sufficiency Lead to the Aral Sea Environmental Disaster

The desiccation of the Aral Sea was one of the greatest environmental disasters of the latter part of the twentieth century. In 1960, it was the fourth largest lake in the world. However, since 1965, the sea has lost seventy five percent of its volume and the coastline has advanced hundred kilometers. The sea is now divided into two sections and if desiccation continues, it will eventually devolve into a string of isolated salt lakes. The desire of the former Soviet Union for self-sufficiency in cotton led to massive expansion of cotton production in Central Asia, mostly in Uzbekistan, and to the use of irrigated water from rivers that normally fed the Aral Sea. Could the environmental disaster have been avoided if the former Soviet Union had relied more on imported cotton and not diverted these rivers? Can we conclude that if the cost of the irrigated water had been properly considered, Uzbekistan did not have a comparative advantage in cotton production, and the Soviet Union should have imported the cotton? Or are other explanations more important in explaining the environmental disaster?. The authors consider these questions in this case study, but begin with an elaboration of the environmental problems.

The Aral Sea Basin

This book offers the first multidisciplinary overview of water resources issues and management in the Aral Sea Basin, covering both the Amu Darya and Syr Darya River Basins.

The Aral Sea Basin

This book offers the first multidisciplinary overview of water resources issues and management in the Aral Sea Basin, covering both the Amu Darya and Syr Darya River Basins. The two main rivers of Amu Darya and Syr Darya and their tributaries comprise the Aral Sea Basin area and are the lifeline for about 70 million inhabitants in Central Asia. Written by regional and international experts, this book critically examines the current state, trends and future of water resources management and development in this major part of the Central Asia region. It brings together insights on the history of water management in the region, surface and groundwater assessment, issues of transboundary water management and environmental degradation and restoration, and an overview of the importance of water for the key economic sectors and overall socio-economic development of Central Asian countries, as well as of hydro politics in the region. The book also focusses on the future of water sector development in the Basin, including a review of local and international actors, as well as an analysis of the current status and progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals by Basin countries. The book will be essential reading for those interested in sea basin management, environmental policy in Central Asia and water resource management more widely. It will also act as a reference source for decision-makers in state agencies, as well as a background source of information for NGOs.

The Aral Sea

The Aral Sea


Pipe Dreams

A long environmental history of the Aral Sea region, focusing on colonization and development in Russian and Soviet Central Asia.

Pipe Dreams

A long environmental history of the Aral Sea region, focusing on colonization and development in Russian and Soviet Central Asia.

Promoting Transboundary Water Security in the Aral Sea Basin through International Law

Promoting Transboundary Water Security in the Aral Sea Basin through International Law addresses the current gap in the literature by moving beyond the static identification of treaties and norms to examine how these treaties and norms can ...

Promoting Transboundary Water Security in the Aral Sea Basin through International Law

Promoting Transboundary Water Security in the Aral Sea Basin through International Law addresses the current gap in the literature by moving beyond the static identification of treaties and norms to examine how these treaties and norms can work for water security in practice.

Disaster by Design

This volume addresses the impacts of the Aral Sea disaster; disappearance of what was the world's fourth largest inland body of water. It argues this was the result of deliberate policy decisions.

Disaster by Design

This volume addresses the impacts of the Aral Sea disaster; disappearance of what was the world's fourth largest inland body of water. It argues this was the result of deliberate policy decisions. This volume is essential reading for everyone concerned with averting environmental disaster and in creating livable, sustainable communities.

Environmental Crises in Central Asia

Small, I., Van der Meer, J. and Upshur, R.E. (2001) Acting on an environmental health disaster: the case of the Aral Sea. Environmental Health Perspectives, 109(6): 547¥549. Spoor, M. (1998) The Aral Sea basin crisis: transition and ...

Environmental Crises in Central Asia

Environmental conditions do not exist in a vacuum. They are influenced by science, politics, history, public policy, culture, economics, public attitudes, and competing priorities, as well as past human decisions. In the case of Central Asia, such Soviet-era decisions include irrigation systems and physical infrastructure that are now crumbling, mine tailings that leach pollutants into soil and groundwater, and abandoned factories that are physically decrepit and contaminated with toxic chemicals. Environmental Crises in Central Asia highlights major environmental challenges confronting the region’s former Soviet republics: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. They include threats to the Caspian and Aral seas, the impact of climate change on glaciers, desertification, deforestation, destruction of habitat and biodiversity, radioactive and hazardous wastes, water quality and supply, energy exploration and development, pesticides and food security, and environmental health. The ramifications of these challenges cross national borders and may affect economic, political, and cultural relationships on a vast geographic scale. At the same time, the region’s five governments have demonstrated little resolve to address these complex challenges. This book is a valuable multi-disciplinary resource for academics, scholars, and policymakers in environmental sciences, geography, political science, natural resources, mass communications, public health, and economics.