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Depressing tale


Your report on the Aral Sea (NCE 8 February) fails to recognise that the process of moving excess water from Chardara Reservoir to the Arnasai Depression has created Lake Aydarkul, a very valuable wetland for migrating wildfowl.

From a 1994 map, Lake Aydarkul and its surrounding marshes is some 160km long with an area of perhaps 5,000km 2 - not dissimilar to the North Aral Sea itself.

If there is one thing that engineers should by now have learnt from the whole sorry saga of the desiccation of the Aral Sea, it is that we should not interfere with nature when we do not have a very clear understanding of the consequences.

I would very much like to be assured that the engineers involved with this project are fully aware of all the consequences of what they are doing.

Jim Halcro-Johnston, Clunside House, Waterloo Lane, Clun, Craven Arms, Shropshire, SY7 8JF

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