Far less money is spent now on maintaining the vast networks of water drainage and irrigation that crisscross the country than was expended under communism. The authorities spend about $12 a hectare on maintenance, down from $120 a hectare in Soviet times, according to the International Water Management Institute. Blocked drainage pipes push salt levels up, damaging the land and dragging crop yields ever lower.

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Source: http://www.redorbit.com/news/science/1434215/cotto