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Ecological problems of Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan has a very fragile environment. The territory of the Republic consists mainly of semi-desert and desert. As a result of anthropogenic pressure on almost the entire territory of Kazakhstan disrupt the natural ability of the environment to ensure future economic and social development of the country.
Extensive development of agricultural production has left a legacy in the form of land degradation and impoverishment of landscapes, more than 60% of the territory is subject to desertification, which leads to a reduction in soil fertility and, consequently, reduce the productivity of livestock and crop production.
In Kazakhstan there are unique inland seas and lakes, such as the Caspian, Aral, Balkhash, Zaisan, Alakol. In the eyes of one generation is almost twice reduced the area of the Aral Sea. Intensive and irrational development of irrigated agriculture, as well as the regulation of runoff in arid climatic conditions has led to a shortage of water in the basins of small and large rivers, such as the Ili, Syr Darya, and others.
A similar fate awaits the Lake Balkhash. When the needs of the republic in the water 100 km3 per year, the existing supply is 34.6 km3. By water supply per capita Kazakhstan occupies the last place amongst CIS countries.
Every year in surface reservoirs dumped more than 200 million of contaminated wastewater. More than 3 thousand. Of groundwater contamination has an area of from a few to hundreds of square kilometers
Most businesses processing and energy complexes have imperfect technology, morally and physically worn out, which increases the amount of harmful emissions. In the early 90's s nearly 6 million tons of pollutants (50% - combined heat and power, metallurgy -Black 20%, 13% - non-ferrous metals, 4% - chemicals and petrochemicals).
Oil and gas industry ranks first among industries in terms of investment. Despite this, in the main areas of oil and gas production and oil refining - Atyrau and Mangistau regions - work is carried out with the use of backward technology, outdated equipment, which leads to accidents and oil leaks. As a result, the total area of oil pollution in West Kazakhstan is 194 thousand and the volume of spilled oil - more than 5 million tons.
As a result, increase the level of the Caspian Sea were flooded more than 200 wells and oil fields, including the largest - Kalamkas Karajanbas and that is a threat not only to biological diversity (in the Caspian Sea 90% of world reserves of sturgeon, a large number of bird species, endemic - the Caspian seal ), but also the entire ecosystem of the Caspian Sea. Over the past 10 years the commercial fish catch has decreased 10 times.
The huge territory of Kazakhstan suffered from the activities of military ranges and launches of space technology. During the period between 1949 and 1991 at the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site was conducted 470 nuclear explosions. It is impossible to count the number of fatalities; number of irradiated reached half a million people. On the territory of the former Semipalatinsk nuclear test site about 2 million of agricultural land is subject to radioactive contamination.