Water reserves decreased almost threefold over a year in Russia-occupied Crimea

Canan Kevser
05 January 2021, 13:56
Canan Kevser
05 January 2021, 13:56

Total water reserves in occupied Crimea decreased almost threefold in less than a year, from 61 million cubic meters to 31.3 million cubic meters.

“The total water reserves by the end of the year amounted to 31.308 million cubic meters, which is 5.364 million cubic meters less than a month ago and 61.672 million less than a year ago,” reads the review of the Crimean Department of Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring.

According to the Department, December and January are the wettest months of the cold season but there was a significant shortage of precipitation in the river basins in December, as well as in previous months.

For example, precipitation fell in the amount of 12-15% of the norm in the basins of Crimean rivers Kuchuk-Karasu, Chorna, Salhir. 

In the basins of rivers on the southern coast of Crimea, precipitation fell 42-50% of the norm, in the basins of other rivers – 24-40% of the norm.

The amount of precipitation in the Crimean mountains was also insignificant – from 27 to 40% of the norm.

About Water Crisis of Crimea

Until 2014, Ukraine provided 85% of Crimea’s freshwater needs through the North Crimean Canal, which connects the Dnieper River with the peninsula. 

After Russia had illegally occupied Crimea, water supplies to Crimea were cut off.

Five rivers supplying fresh water to reservoirs for drinking water on the peninsula dried up as a whole: Kacha, Alma, Chernaya, Belbek, Tonas rivers.

Since August 2020, the occupation authorities introduced severe restrictions on water consumption in several districts of Crimea.

Currently, water reserves on the peninsula are replenished from reservoirs and underground sources.

According to Crimean environmentalists, regular use of underground sources leads to salinization of soil.

The UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine has repeatedly stated the need for its experts to enter the occupied peninsula blocked by Russia. The mission also declared that Russia has the primary responsibility for ensuring the water supply of the territory it occupied.