Bolivia Lake Poopó
Lake Poopó disappearing, from 2014 to 2016ESA/Belspo – produced by VITO

World Water Day 2016 will be marked on 22 March. The UN designated day, first marked in 1992 at United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, aims to raise awareness about water related issues.

Over recent years, satellite images have shown bodies of water vanishing from the surface of the planet. To mark WWD 2016, here is a look at some of Earth's disappearing lakes and seas, seen from space.

The Aral Sea

aral sea
aral sea
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The Aral Sea disappearing between 2000 and 2015

In 2014, images released by Nasa Earth Observatory showed how the Aral Sea on the arid planes of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan had almost completely dried up. Images showed how the water levels have fallen over the last five decades. The decline began in the 1960s when the Soviet Union began a major water diversion project. Drought in the 2000s added to the decline further.

Philip Micklin, an Aral Sea expert from Western Michigan University, said: "This is the first time the eastern basin has completely dried in modern times. And it is likely the first time it has completely dried in 600 years, since medieval desiccation associated with diversion of Amu Darya to the Caspian Sea."

Bolivia's Lake Poopó

Lake Poopó
Lake Poopó
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Bolivia's second largest lake – Lake Poopó – was declared fully evaporated at the end of last year. Images from the European Space Agency showed how the lake had declined over the course of three years, with experts linking the drying up to mining, agriculture and persistent drought from El Nino. The last time the lake fully vanished was 1994 after which it took several years to return. Some scientists warned this time the lake will never return.

Shasta Lake, California

Shasta Lake, California
Shasta Lake, California
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Shasta Lake, California, declining between 2005 and 2014

The prolonged drought in California has led to water levels in Shasta Lake in the northern part of the state to drop significantly. Nasa images showed the extent to which the lake had dried up. The pictures, from September 2005 and September 2014 show the receding shoreline.

Lake Kariba in Africa

Lake Kariba
Lake Kariba
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Lake Kariba between 2013 and 2015

Lake Kariba, located between Zambia and Zimbabwe, is one of the world's biggest artificial reservoirs. In February 2016, water levels near the dam of the Zambezi River dropped to near record lows, declining to just 12% full. The drop was attributed to persistent drought, compounded by El Nino.

Nevada and Arizona's Lake Mead

Lake Mead
Lake Mead
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Losses in Lake Mead over 15 years, from 2000 to 2015

Images of Lake Mead taken in July last year show how Lake Mead, on the borders of Nevada and Arizona, has declined significantly over the last 15 years. The lake's elevation has dropped around 15m (120ft). The maximum elevation of the reservoir, which formed in the 1930s following the construction of the Hoover Dam, is 372m above sea level. By July 2015, it reached 329m. Scientists attribute the drop to persistent drought in the region.