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Amu Darya and Syr Darya Rivers and Aral Sea »

George (Rock) Pring, Braden Angel
1 The two main sources of water in the Aral Sea basin of Central Asia, the Amu Darya and the Syr Darya, have been so diverted for irrigation in the last half century that the Aral Sea, once the world’s fourth–largest freshwater lake, has shrunk to less than a quarter of its volume. The depletion of the sea and these two international watercourses has been called the ‘most staggering disaster of the 20th century’ by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) (Grabish 38), as it has led to desertification of the area, destruction of terrestrial and aquatic...