The withdrawal of water for irrigated agriculture has caused a social and environmental crisis in the Aral Sea Basin. Drying up of the sea has been accompanied by a wide range of other environmental, economic and social problems in the basin. The problems precipitated by this crisis have aggravated the social and economic difficulties caused by the collapse of the Soviet Union. Following the break- up of the Soviet Union the interests of Up-stream countries and regions within them have collided with those of down-stream neighbors. The water resources are highly asymmetrically and unevenly distributed, although some nations have managed to make agreements to swap fossil fuel for water. Sine 1992 a number of interstate bodies have been set up to deal with water management issues on a regional level.
From collection: Environment and Security: Central Asia - Ferghana/Osh/Khujand Area
Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal