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Human Ecology

, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp 113–135 | Cite as

International environmental implications of Soviet development of the Volga River

  • Philip P. Micklin
Article

Abstract

Hydrologic alteration of major rivers has the potential for environmental damage on an international scale. Soviet regulation of the Volga River is a case in point. Iran, bordering on the Caspian Sea to which the Volga is tributary, has been harmed by changes in the sea's physical and biological character which are partially attributable to Soviet modification of the Volga's natural flow regime. Soviet plans for southward diversion of flow from the European Arctic and Siberia, partially intended to alleviate the Caspian problem, could pose an even more serious international hazard. Possible adverse consequences range from further imperiling the survival of the Atlantic salmon to hemispheric, perhaps even global, climatic changes. The already apparent consequences of Volga development and possible future ramifications of related diversion measures emphasize the need for caution as well as international cooperation and consultation in planning the alteration of major river basins.

Key words

river basin development international environmental problems Volga River Caspian Sea 

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corp. 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philip P. Micklin
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GeographyWestern Michigan UniversityKalamazoo

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