I've delved into the topic of the Aral Sea's drying. The key reason, as I discovered, was unsustainable diversions of water from the inflowing rivers for irrigation, particularly of cotton, a thirsty crop. Despite such disastrous consequences, the basin's countries, including Uzbekistan, are determined to go on with cotton farming because, in part, it provides a substantial source of income. So I wonder, what are the most lucrative crops for arid countries? Is there a study, chart, anything that provides, preferably up-to-date, data on that ratio, USD per m³ of consumed water or something to that effect (I realize there's no single price for any given crop but, surely, an average always exists)? What are the best alternatives to cotton for Aral Sea countries? I've found this, I didn't find prices (I didn't look for them for a long time, though), and I don't want to do all those time-consuming calculations.

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    $\begingroup$ I feel like this question is more about agricultural properties than the economics of agriculture. $\endgroup$
    – Bayesian
    Jul 17 at 23:06

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