Ten years ago it seemed that the Aral Sea was a wasteland. The Soviet Union’s decision to divert the Aral’s feeder rivers to irrigate cotton farms had turned an area the size of Ireland into a dust bowl. There was no water, no fish and no jobs. It was sadly a textbook case of a human-made environmental catastrophe.

However, five years after the construction of a dam, fresh river water is now filling up the northern part of the Aral Sea in Kazakhstan (known as ‘The Small Aral Sea’). Large sections of barren seabed have become resubmerged, and experts are amazed that the water has reached the target ...


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