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Kokaral dam on the Aral Sea

Drive from Aralsk to the Kokaral dam

The Kokaral Dam is a dam passing through a narrow part of the Aral Sea in Kazakhstan. It prevents the outflow of water from the small (northern) to the large (southern) Aral Sea. Construction began in 2003 and was completed in August 2005.

How to get there

The dam is located between the northern and southern Aral Sea, Kyzylorda regiont, Republic of Kazakhstan. From the city of Aralsk to dam in a straight line 105 kilometers.
GPS Coordinates: 46°05′48″N 60°47′35″E

Tourist information

The dam is named after the Kokaral Peninsula, which connects to the opposite shore and thus separates the northern part of the lake from the southern one. Due to a lack of funds, the dam was built four times in the past (1992, 1992–1993, 1996–1997 and 1997–1998) from sand, but it could never withstand the pressure of water. However, positive environmental impacts have already been observed in the short time the dam has withstood. The climate became milder and the fauna partially recovered. Construction resumed in 2003. Since the World Bank provided funding, this time concrete could be used instead of sand. The dam is 13 km long and 10 m high.

The overflow is at 42 meters above sea level. The reason for the construction of the dam was the drop in the water level in the Aral Sea due to increased water consumption since Stalin's time and the associated salinization. In 2006, earlier than expected, an increase in water level and a decrease in salinity were recorded in the northern part of the Aral Sea. Fish stocks have again reached economically viable levels so that fish can now be exported again. Further results are an increase in the amount of rain clouds and changes in the microclimate, which suggest an improvement in the agricultural sector. In recent years, the lake has no longer reached its maximum water level; Satellite images show serious leaks in the dam body, it is clear that the purpose of the dam can no longer be achieved without the risk of another dam break.

Kokaral Dam, Aral sea, Kyzylorda region


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