Shortlist, Fading Flamingos by Maximilian Mann
"An environmental disaster is taking place in Lake Urmia in Iran. Just 10 years ago, waves splashed against the walls of the villages here, but now the turquoise water has been replaced by an almost endless desert. Salt, carried on the wind, covers nearby fields, causing crops to dry up. Robbed of their livelihood, the local population is fleeing to the surrounding towns, and the villages around the lake are dying out. Lake Urmia was once the second-largest salt lake in the world, 10 times bigger than Lake Constance. However, within a few years the surface area of this body of water has shrunk by 80%. There are two main reasons for this decline: climate change and the enormously high demand for water created by the agriculture sector. If this disaster is not addressed, up to five million residents could be forced to leave the area in the future."