Over the past 30 years, the Aral Sea in the former Soviet Union has shrunk to less than half of its original size. This graphic shows the Aral Sea as it was in 1960 and as it appeared in 2001. It shows that a former fishing zone is now a dry zone affected by salination. Areas that were previously food crops (partly irrigated) are now cotton and rice crops, widely irrigated. Other changes include the replacement of fish exports with fish imports, and the building of dams.
From collection: Vital Water Graphics
Philippe Rekacewicz, Delphine Digout, UNEP/GRID-Arendal