Everyone knows the sad fate of the Aral Sea which has all but vanished. Just a tiny portion of it in the north has been revived. For 60 years, the countries of Central Asia diverted too much water from the Amu Daria and Syr Daria rivers that once poured into the immense lake.
Author Cédric Gras travels up the two rivers to discover the arid regions that are heir to the Silk Routes, and understand how they have shaped the lives of the millions of people living in Central Asia. Both rivers are a source of life in the midst of the desert, yet no one wonders about where the sustaining water originates.
Over the course of his travels, Cédric meets fishermen, cotton growers and the little people living off the water, staying in oasis towns then venturing up into the Pamir Mountains in search of a giant glacier.
Two rivers, two histories, two situations, but one shared cause: water. Essential, yet put to the test by human activity. Like Dr. Livingstone seeking the sources of the Nile, Cédric Gras wants to find the origins of water we know is living on borrowed time.