Staunton, May 25 – Talk about what can be done to save the Aral Sea has been going on for more than half a century, but with each passing year, the amount of water in it has fallen, prompting some in Kazakhstan to turn to prayers and animal sacrifices this month in the hopes that those methods will work when nothing else has.
These measures were taken during an ecological marathon in the country which adjoins the Aral Sea in the North. But that action was a populist effort by a political outsider to attract attention rather than an attempt to look at the situation without rose-colored glasses and do something useful, Zhenis Baykhozha says (qmonitor.kz/society/4143).
Talking about “saving the Aral” is something beautiful and patriotic, the Kazakh commentator says. But Kazakhstan simply can’t do this on its own. Its southern neighbors have effectively blocked the flow of water into the Aral by drawing water out of the rivers there; and Kazakhstan has too small a flow in its rivers to make a difference.
Indeed, the commentator says, it can barely maintain the level of water in the so-called Small Aral Sea with current flows; and those flows are certain to decline as population grows and demand for water to irrigate needed crops grows. If one wants to address ecological problems, one needs to face facts rather than count on divine intervention.