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Danau Laut Aral yang Menyusut

Peta Danau Laut Aral

Danau Laut Aral hingga tahun 1960 termasuk 4 danau terbesar di dunia. Luasnya 68.000 km2 atau separuh pulau Jawa. Hingga tahun 1980-an pun Danau Laut Aral masih terlihat jelas di sebelah kanan Danau Laut Kaspia.

Namun sejak tahun 1960-an luas Danau Laut Aral terus menyusut hingga tahun 2007 tinggal 1/10 luas aslinya saja. Terpecah jadi 4 danau. Laut Aral Utara, Aral Barat, Aral Timur, dan Aral Selatan. Ini karena proyek irigasi Uni Soviet yang mengalihkan aliran sungai Syr Darya di utara dan Amur Darya di selatan danau ke tempat irigasi. Sehingga danau laut Aral hanya bergantung kepada air hujan yang memberi 1/5 jumlah air masuk.

Peta Danau Laut Aral 2

Pemerintah Uni Soviet membuat proyek irigasi tersebut guna mengairi perkebunan kapas. Namun sayangnya membuat Danau Laut Aral yang kedalaman maksimalnya hanya 42 meter (bandingkan dengan Danau Baykal yang 1600 meter) akhirnya mengering kekurangan air. Akibatnya ikan-ikan pun menghilang sehingga para nelayan jadi menganggur.

Peta Danau Laut Aral 3

Foto di atas Sekjen PBB Ban Ki Moon melihat kuburan kapal2 yang terdampar di Laut Aral yang kering. Padahal tahun 1850-an, selain dilayari kapal-kapal nelayan, laut Aral juga dilayari oleh kapal-kapal angkatan laut kerajaan Rusia.

Peta Danau Laut Aral 4

Di bawah adalah foto satelit Danau Laut Aral tahun 1989 dan 2008:

Peta Danau Laut Aral 5

Referensi:

Aral Sea

The Aral Sea was a lake lying between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, in the south. The name roughly translates as “Sea of Islands”, referring to about 1,534 islands that once dotted its waters; in Old Turkic aral means “island” and “thicket”.[3]
Formerly one of the four largest lakes in the world with an area of 68,000 km2 (26,300 sq mi), the Aral Sea has been steadily shrinking since the 1960s after the rivers that fed it were diverted by Soviet irrigation projects. By 2007, it had declined to 10% of its original size, splitting into four lakes – the North Aral Sea, the eastern and western basins of the once far larger South Aral Sea, and one smaller lake between the North and South Aral Seas.[4] By 2009, the southeastern lake had disappeared and the southwestern lake had retreated to a thin strip at the extreme west of the former southern sea.[5] The maximum depth of the North Aral Sea is 42 m (138 ft) (as of 2008).[1]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aral_Sea

How the Aral Sea – once half the size of England – has dried up

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1263516/How-Aral-Sea–half-size-England–dried-up.html

Aral Sea historic coastline Map

http://www.mappery.com/map-of/Aral-Sea-historic-coastline-Map

The Aral Sea Crisis
http://www.columbia.edu/~tmt2120/introduction.htm

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