Turkmenistan, home of the Karakum Desert, is one of the most arid places on earth; it is also the globe's biggest water waster. But before other Central Asian states start tsk-tsking, a recently published report describes the entire region as a world "leader" in the inefficient use of water resources.
The report, published by the journal Nature, shows that Central Asian states consume more water per capita and per every dollar of GDP produced than residents of any other region on the planet. The story also highlights the human element in slowly unfolding ecological disasters across Central Asia. Among the environmental problems bedeviling the region are the disappearance of the Aral Sea, the rising pace of desertification in Turkmenistan and the increasing salinity of agricultural lands in Uzbekistan.
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