Kara-Bogaz-Gol is a lowland area that forms a highly saline bay on the east side of the Caspian Sea, in Turkmenistan. Soviet leaders maintained that this was “a useless caldron for evaporation, an insatiable mouth swallowing up the precious water of the Caspian Sea” and obviously to blame. The dam, finished in 1980 blocked the flow of the water between the Caspian Sea and Kara-Bogaz-Gol. This reduced the water levels in the bay while increasing drought and salinity, creating immediate desertification and salt storms, spreading to surrounding areas. The dam was finally breached in 1992 as Turkmenistan broke free from the Russian Federation.
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From collection: Vital Caspian Graphics
Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal