Thursday, October 24, 2019

Lake Issyk Kul May Follow Aral and Baikal into Oblivion

Paul Goble

            Staunton, October 21 – In 50 years, the Aral Sea has dried up thanks to the overuse of its tributaries by the populations living along them; and Lake Baikal is predicted by some analysts to be at risk of disappearing in the future as well (

            Now, a South Korean expert, Jon TeWun, predicts that Lake Issyk Kul, the gem of Kyrgyzstan, may become a worthless and even dangerous swamp not only because of overuse of water but because the authorities aren’t purifying wastes before putting them back in the lake (

            He calls on Bishkek to launch a crash program to prevent that from that from happening by putting the protection of the environment over profit, better regulating the use of water that keeps the lake alive, and improving sewage treatment facilities so that Issyk Kul will not be filled with dangerous substances.

            Because Kyrgyzstan, like Tajikistan, is currently a water surplus country in Central Asia, few have focused on water problems them at least compared to the attention directed at Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. But Jon TeWun’s words may be a wake-up call and mean that Lake Issyk Kul unlike the Aral Sea can still be saved.

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