Central Eurasian Water Crisis

Iwao Korbori, Michael H. Glantz
Release Date: March 1, 1998

Central Eurasian Water Crisis refers to the awareness by the global community that, in the 21st century, people in various regions around the world will likely face problems of water quality and water quantity. These problems have already surfaced in several locations, and this volume focuses on three of them: the Dead Sea, the Aral Sea, and the Caspian Sea regions. In this book, researchers from a variety of physical and social science disciplines seek to identify the water-related problems and the prospects for resolving them.

They explain that the water level of the Dead Sea has been declining in recent years, and this has added to political tensions in the region. They explore how the need to resolve environmental issues related to the Dead Sea might be a major step toward peaceful cooperation. The Aral Sea, also declining in recent decades, has been threatened by the use of river water to serve cotton development in the sands of otherwise dry Central Asian deserts. And the Caspian Sea, the largest inland sea in the world, has gone through decadal-scale fluctuations over the past 150 years. One of the richest regions in the world with regard to oil and gas reserves, its environmental problems (oil and waste pollution, desertification, the survival of the sturgeon, and the fluctuating sea level) will only serve to worsen other regional political problems, unless they are addressed in the near future.

This volume attempts to raise as many questions as it answers about Eurasian water crises. These cases will serve as lessons of actions to be taken–or not taken.