The demise of the Aral Sea was caused primarily by the diversion of the inflowing Amu Dar'ya and Syr Dar'ya rivers to provide irrigation water for local croplands. This graphic shows the disappearance of the Aral Sea from 1957 to 2000 and three possible scenarios showing the relationship between future demand (and thus water abstraction) and future available runoff in cubic kilometres per year. The scenarios cover the time period from 2000 to 2020. They show what may happen if water abstraction and the demand for water continue to increase, what may happen if they remain the same as they were in the year 2000, and what may happen if they decrease.
From collection: Vital Water Graphics
Philippe Rekacewicz, Delphine Digout, UNEP/GRID-Arendal