Monday, April 5, 2010

Not food but - we can't live or cook without it...

Aral Sea in Central Asia dries up,
April 5, 2010 by tangledwing

Aral Sea Almost DRIED UP: UN Chief Calls It ‘Shocking Disaster’

Once the world’s fourth-largest lake, the sea has shrunk by 90 percent since the rivers that feed it were largely diverted in a Soviet project to boost cotton production in the arid region.

The shrunken sea has ruined the once-robust fishing economy and left fishing trawlers stranded in sandy wastelands, leaning over as if they dropped from the air. The sea’s evaporation has left layers of highly salted sand, which winds can carry as far away as Scandinavia and Japan, and which plague local people with health troubles.

A much lower level problems, but Florida has had a problem with lakes drying out because of the pressure to provide water to a state that has become over populated in the last two decades. They rely largely on a fresh water underground aquifer for drinking water and agricultural needs – in addition to having more golf courses than any other state. In the western U.S. the Colorado River with dams on the river itself and many of its tributaries, is a water life line for millions of people who live hundreds of miles away. Water rights are still a contentious issue. In 2007 the states of Georgia, Alabama and Florida got into a feud over water rights and as much of Atlanta’s water supply simply dried up. There is a photo here that compares the Aral Lake in 1989 to 2008. In the U.S. we file law suits and get a little angry thus far. Those that depended on the Aral are now susceptible to militant political ideologies since there always seems to be people ready to exploit such tragedies for their own purposes. Most of the residents around the lake live in poverty and are subjects of repressive governments. Millions of people around the world do not have access to clean water a situation likely to worsen as we head from a current world population of 6 billion to probably leveling off in the next decade at 10 billion. If we cannot manage our water resources now it does not bode well for the future.

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