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What a present day water crisis looks like

Johnny Simon
Member exclusive by Johnny Simon for Water

Predictions of catastrophic water shortages may seem like apocalyptic visions of the future, but water crises are indeed a fact of modern life already. Natural factors like drought have left some reservoirs depleted, while siphoning of historical water sources have transformed freshwater bodies into dusty shadows of their former selves.

Aral Sea

What used to be one of the largest freshwater bodies in the world is now mostly desert. After Soviet-era decisions to divert water for agricultural projects from this lake that touches what is now Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, the Aral Sea has continued to shrink over the decades, down to about 10% of its original footprint.

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Katherine Bell
By Katherine Bell

Editor-in-chief at Quartz

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