The Aral Sea, located in central Asia on the border of Kazakhstan, was once the 4th largest lake on the planet.  Now, thanks to the diverting of its feeder rivers for agriculture, the sea has almost completely dried up leaving only sand dunes and rusting ships in a new desert.  The disappearance of the Aral Sea has, of course, destroyed the local economy.  The water that is left is highly polluted and the absence of water has caused a climate change in the immediate area making Summers are drier and hotter while Winters are colder and longer.

The good news is that, recognizing the immensity of the problem, dams have been constructed to try and restore the Aral Sea and, in 2008, the sea's depth has risen 12 meters from its lowest point in 2003. 

Despite this new effort to save it, the depletion of the Aral Sea has been called the greatest ecological disaster Earth has ever witnessed in modern history.

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