Reservoir supplying water to Russia’s Black Sea Fleet base in occupied Crimea almost dried up (Photo)
The situation of Sevastopol’s freshwater supplies is rapidly deteriorating.
Crimea’s Chornorichenske water reservoir, the main source of freshwater for Sevastopol, home of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet base, is now less than half full amid continued drought.
The city’s water supply situation is rapidly deteriorating, blogger Wasily Crimea wrote on Twitter posting fresh photos of the water reservoir.
“The Chornorichenske water reservoir feeding Sevastopol is approaching the state of a ‘puddle’ (although it has not yet reached the level of the Simferopol water reservoir),” he tweeted.
Chornorichenske reservoir: Details
• In mid-August, Russia’s RIA Novosti said the volume of water in the Chornorichenske reservoir is 24.4 million cubic meters, i.e. about 38% of design volume.
• At the same time, in early July, the volume of water in the reservoir was 30.112 million cubic meters, so the decline stands at 5.7 million cubic meters in a month and a half.
• In May and June 2020, the reservoir lost 4.5 million cubic meters of water.
Water supplies to Crimea: Background
Prior to Crimea occupation by Russia, Ukraine used to cover up to 85% of the peninsula’s needs for freshwater through the North Crimean Canal.
After the Crimea annexation by Russia in 2014, Ukraine severed water supplies to the occupied peninsula.
Water reserves in Crimea are replenished from natural runoff reservoirs and underground sources.
Environmentalists say regular use of water from underground sources has led to soil salinization.
On September 7, in Simferopol, Bakhchisarai, and Simferopol districts, due to ongoing drought and shallowing of reservoirs, the third, most severe, stage of water supply restrictions was introduced.
On the same day, an OHCHR representative said it is Russia who bears responsibility for ensuring water supplies to the occupied Crimea.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba says restoration of water supply to Crimea would be possible only in the context of the occupied peninsula’s end of occupation. At the same time, there is no humanitarian crisis with freshwater in occupied Crimea whatsoever, chief of Ukraine’s diplomacy emphasizes. “The narrative about the ‘humanitarian crisis’ was invented by Russian propaganda in order to convince the world that water supplies to Crimea are necessary.”