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Another prime example of environmental devastation as a result of human-environment relations is the plight of the dying aral sea (located

in southern Kazakhstan and northwest Uzbekistan, republics of the former soviet union). The diversion of source waters from the sea to support irrigated agricultural projects along syr darya and amu darya rivers is largely responsible for the devastation. Since the mid-1950s, the productions of crops like cotton, rice and melons throughout the marginal farmland of southern Turkmenistan has been sustained from water diverted from the aral sea via the kara kum canal. This diversion of water has resulted in a dramatic reduction in the water level of the aral sea and the receding of its shoreline. The aral sea has lost well over 40% of its surface area since 1960-a volume of water that is equivalent to about one-and-one half times that of lake erie. By the year 2000, the aral sea is expected to shrinkto approximately two-thirds of its present size. If this trend continues, it is likely that this valuable water resource will completely vanish in less than 100 years! A dying aral sea continues to claim many victims. Losses include the devastation of the once flourishing fhising industry in the towns of muynak and uchsay, found on the southern shores of the aral sea; an area that is now located in the midst of a desert landscape as the sea recedes. increasing populations pressures in nearby areas have increased the demand for water, placing an even greater burden on the sea for water. Increasing salinity of soils in the aral sea basin and surrounding irrigated agricultural regions has created problems not only for farmers, but has led to a health crisis in the area. Irrigation has forced the water levels in these areas to rise as naturally saline desert subsoils become waterlogged. Waterlogging has led to heavy salt deposits at the soil surface as the water levels in irrigated farming regions rise and fall. As salts accumulate on the surface and the soil toxicity levels increase, those very soils now poison plant life and render the land unproductive and unable to sustain acceptable levels of agricultural output. Moreover, soil erosion from high winds in this region has led to a high concentration of airborne salts and saltdust storms. Airborne salts