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2nd Largest Lake in Asia Drying Up!

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posted on Jan, 15 2004 @ 03:09 PM

It appears that lake Balkhash could be drying up. The reason for the decline is simple the lake resides in Kazakhstan and the feeder rivers come from China. China and Kazakhstan have not yet been able to come to an agreement on the River Ili water sharing plan.

Unless the two countries reach an agreement on the river the UN says that Balkhash will meet the same fate as the Aral Sea. The Aral Sea split into two smaller lakes as a result of Soviet policy to divert its two feeder rivers for cotton irrigation.

Lake Balkhash has already lost 770 square miles according to the UN due to loss of water.


"This is a very sensitive political issue," said Zharas Takenov, the UNDP's environment team chief in Almaty.

"We lost the Aral Sea because we had several countries using the water. We have the same problem here. If there is no agreement with China on the amount of water it can use from the Ili, Balkhash will be damaged in the same way the Aral was."

"With the population growth curve, agriculture, industry and urbanisation in the western areas of China, there is of course going to be more water use on the Chinese side," Mr Akcura said.

To make things worse, the lake is already being intensively polluted by industrial waste and sewage.

[Edited on 15-1-2004 by BlackJackal]


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