The Aral Sea was one of the world’s biggest inland bodies of water – until Soviet engineers destroyed it in the 1960s. Now, thanks to a new dam, it’s coming back. Geoffrey Lean reports Published: Fresh fish are on sale cheaply again in markets near the world’s most desiccated sea. Cold green water is creeping back towards dozens of long-abandoned harbours, and for the first time in a generation, fishermen are launching their boats where recently there were only waves of sand. Life is returning astonishingly quickly to the North Aral Sea in Central Asia, partially reversing one of the world’s greatest environmental disasters. Just months after the completion of a dam to conserve its waters, the sea has largely recovered – confounding experts who said it was beyond rescue. Since April the level of the sea has risen by more than 3m, flooding over 800 sq km of dried-out seabed, and bringing hope to a part of the world bereft of it since Soviet engineers stole the waters in the 1960s. The drying up of the Aral Sea – once the world’s fourth largest inland water body, covering an area the size of Belgium and […]

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