Huge, endless, large—these are just a few words you might use to describe Lake Superior. At 31,700 square miles, it is the largest freshwater lake by surface area in the world.
But imagine—if you can—that in a matter of years, it shrank to a quarter of its size. It is hard to picture, but that is exactly what happened to another Great Lake on the other side of the world. The Aral Sea, situated between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, has shrunk significantly over the last 50 years. In a short time, it has lost 75 percent of its surface area and 90 percent of its volume.
In this edition of the Lake Superior Project, journalist and author Peter Annin, along with Dave Naftzger of the Council of Great Lakes Governors, explains why the Aral Sea experiment is relevant to North America, what has been done to protect water quantity in the Great Lakes, and why the next century may be the "century of water."