The tragedy of the Aral Sea


21.01.11.Gazeta "Our World" Global climate change and anthropogenic (human, economic, or rather — bezhozyaystvennaya) activity together have created a series of environmental disasters on a planetary scale. Among them — the death of the Aral Sea, dehydration, and desertification in the basin.

The tragedy of the Aral Sea, the negative effects of drying it and find ways to stabilize the environmental situation in the region became the focus of an international conference, "Transboundary environmental problems in Central Asia, the use of international legal mechanisms to deal with them," which was held on 16-17 November 2010 in Tashkent. The conference is organized Ecological Movement of Uzbekistan, which enjoys great prestige among the population. This movement has 15 representatives in the legislature — Parliament of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

The conference was attended by over 250 participants, among them 110 reputable scientists, experts and representatives of environmental organizations from India, China, USA, Turkey, Ukraine, the Czech Republic, France, Japan and other countries. By the way, the conference had seven representatives of Ukraine, among them — the Hero of Ukraine, Head of the Board of JSC "Ukrhydroenergo" Semen Potashnik.

Study of the conference materials, papers and periodicals showed [1-29] that for the last 50 years, the Aral Sea has experienced significant transformations. The area of its water table has fallen by more than 7-fold — from 65 to 9000 square kilometers. Incredibly dropped the water level in the sea — 26 meters away on the shore of the reservoir of 100-120 km. Mineralization of water has increased from 10 to 120 g / l, and in the eastern part — up to 280 g / l. If the satellite imagery in 1964 shows a large body of water, the shape of which approximates to a circle with a diameter of about 250 km, in 2009, the Aral Sea is not. Instead of the sea — a narrow, 30-40-km-long belt of small bodies of water that resembles a river bed.
At the bottom of the former sea salt fields appeared that the wind pushes sand. During hurricanes salt-sand mixture rises into the atmosphere and spread around a radius of 500 km or more, polluting the air and salting fertile land. Scientists report that the Aral dust is captured and in the Arctic.

Disappeared arid climate caused the sea Aral, which is already characterized by excessive heat loads. The region has increased 1-1,5 ° C maximum temperature, number of days with a temperature of 40 ° C has increased by 10-12 days, sometimes fixed temperature 49 ° C.

Clearly, under such conditions, the fish in the sea disappeared. Previously, there were 20 species of fish, and its catch was 30 tonnes. Today in the town of Muynak Karakalpakstan, where the 80's worked great fish canning factory, the people have lost their jobs, and the building of a factory destroyed.

In the Aral Sea a real threat to the environment, flora and fauna, health, and the gene pool of the population of the region. Gone Asiatic cheetah, Turan tiger, Ustyurt ram Turkmen Kula. Endangered dlinnoigolchaty hedgehog, gazelle, caracal Turkmen, yellow heron, pink and curly pelicans, desert monitor, other species, some of which are listed in the "Red Book". Even antelopes — these horny peers mammoths, whose numbers reached before one million animals, have now become a rarity.

In the world of plants have disappeared tulip Sogdian, myagkoplodnik kritmolistovy, bug-infested pochtiserdtsevidny. Threatened aktaviyskoy grasses, Khiva grab-bag, tulip Buze, euphorbia tverdobokalchatomu.

In fact, at the bottom of the former Aral Sea was formed desert, which has already started calling Aralkum the manner Kizilkum, Karakum. Aral desert reached 5 million hectares. Truly planetary scale disaster. The great Ukrainian poet and artist Taras Shevchenko, who in 1848-49. member of the Russian expedition plotted narrative Aral coast, islands, straits and settlement in the area of the Aral Sea, once said: "All around the sea, and in the middle — the mountain." But then it was only a social and economic disaster. Blue sea, as they called Aral, had a luxurious full body of water.

External signs of environmental catastrophe could see on his eyes 70 participants who chartered flight from Tashkent first arrived in the capital of the Republic of Karakalpakstan, Nukus, which is located at a distance of 1,200 km from the capital of Uzbekistan, and then another 220 km of comfortable buses — in the former port Muynak.

On the way to the "sea" stretched thinly obezvodnennaya plain near — whiten saline lands, are empty in anticipation of water flushing checks. From the high banks of the Aral Sea is seen cemetery fishing boats, endless sand, in some places the vegetation dries out, but between her camel caravan. Seen by the picture that complement-old stories of elders and feature films in 1960 — years, had a feeling of depression, anxiety, pain, and more — and a sense of responsibility.

Scientists have found that a clear answer for today why the death of the Aral not. Catastrophe caused complex natural causes man-made. However, clearly outlines two reasons: first — global change, the second — heavy regulation of runoff in the upper reaches of the Amu Darya, Syr Darya and other rivers in the region, and excessive analysis of water for irrigation of cotton, vegetables, orchards and vineyards, and other crops.

We know from history that in the context of centuries of evolution of the Aral Sea is cyclical. The sea is filled with times, then dry. This empirical fact is confirmed not only chronicles but also material (based on archaeological artifacts). For example, in Kazakhstan, in the bottom of the sea in 2001, archaeologists found the remains of the mausoleum, the age of which is about 600 years old. According to a well-known Ukrainian researcher transgressionno-regression evolution Aral Igor Kononov, who objectively deal with this problem for over 20 years, has published dozens of scientific papers in the last thousand years, the Aral Sea dried out at least three times (X, XIV and XX centuries). The fundamental cause of "drying" the author considers the underground flow of rivers of the Aral Sea to the Caspian Sea. Such scientific hypothesis has the right to life, as Aral dominate Caspian. In the first absolute sea water level ranges between 53-27 m, the second — minus 25-29 m difference in height between the seas is about 50-80 m by the laws of the movement of water from the top down and "communicating vessels" "overflow" of the Aral Sea the Caspian entirely possible. However, there is a powerful factor in the global arid climate. It was during the severe drought and reduce runoff 2007-2008. sharply intensified process of drying the sea.

The most common version of the death of the Aral Sea — an excessive and irrational use of water resources. The Aral Sea is a large undrained area, which covers about 200 million hectares. Its boundaries lie entirely within Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, three areas of Kazakhstan (Jambul, Kizilordynskaya and Shymkent), part of Afghanistan and Iran. Average annual water resources in the region in view of the reservoir is 105 cubic kilometers, from which 92 are for irrigation (with their 29.5 — in the basin. Syr 57.5 — p. Amudarya River drainage 5).

A significant part of the runoff is retained in reservoirs located in the upper reaches of the rivers. On existing water reservoirs accumulates for the turbine hydropower in off-season, the novovystroennyh — to fill the bowl of the reservoir for several years. This mode greatly complicates the operation of irrigation systems causes a deficiency of irrigation and drinking water, forms the artificial devastating floods, generally sharpens the water-ecological situation in the region. Subject to uncontrolled operation and development of hydraulic complex these issues can buy catastrophic not only for the Aral Sea, but also for the densely populated areas in the river valleys in the middle and lower parts of the flow. Also increase seismic risk and the threat of dam failure. That's why concern the completion of the highest (335 m) in the world Rogun.

International experience shows that the solution to the Aral Sea, as well as other similar problems, must be integrated, based on radical changes in water and environmental situation in the entire basin, applying the principles of integrated water resources management, the use of modern science and technology, in-depth study of the problem, new solutions. At the time of the introduction of a single, integrated and multi-functional complex of ecologically coherent response, which includes engineering (hydraulic) vodosohranyayuschie, agroforestry, organizational, environmental, educational and other measures. Solving the problem of the Aral Sea should be done carefully, in concert with the interests and safety of all the water in the region, based on the principles of good-neighborliness and mutual cross-border cooperation. Only together Uzbeks, Kazakhs, Turkmen, Kyrgyz, Tajiks, and other peoples who inhabit the Aral Sea basin, will be able to overcome the extremely complex water and environmental problem.

In the case of the Aral Sea and the Aral Sea region is important as international cooperation, the involvement of the international community and learning from best international practices. Ukraine, which at one time were used to achieve the Central Asian irrigation and drainage, for example, now has a wide range of the latest developments, which can be used, in particular the method for determining the rational norms of irrigation (information and advisory system "watering"), a closed checkbook rice system vodozamknutoy bezgerbitsidnoy rice cultivation technology, rugged construction of impervious facing channels, plastic drainage and drainage filters vodosohranyayuschie drip irrigation, forest protection Oleshkovsky sands — Europe's largest desert, with the retrofitting of hydropower plants on the river Dnieper, building and operating the world's largest pumped storage power plants.

The result of the conference participants unanimously adopted the Tashkent environmental declaration. This important document in order to prevent interference with the ecological balance and the negative impact on the environment, health, and the gene pool of the population deemed necessary and effective management of transboundary water resources, based on the key instruments of international law, including the UN conventions, and independent international technical, environmental and public examination of objects large hydraulic engineering in the upper river, the transition to the construction of more economical and safe small hydro, and improved access to safe drinking water, improving sanitation and hygiene, the development of small businesses in the low water plants, as well as reducing industry emissions.

Held in Tashkent Environmental Conference adopted its recommendations and the declaration of its positive creative mood, a desire on the basis of a complex of friendly and mutually beneficial cross-border cooperation, involving the general public and the scientific community at the regional and global level, hold promise for the successful solution of daunting environmental problems in the Aral water basin.

Our World

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