Russia’s attempt to induce artificial rain over Crimea fails
After Russia’s annexation of Crimea, the peninsula’s water supply became a serious problem, especially during the dry seasons. This year, many artificial freshwater reservoirs have dried out in Crimea, and in many reservoirs water levels decreased to 37%. Many city administrations have introduced an hourly water supply schedules for the residents.
To solve the problem of fresh water, the Russian authorities decided to resort to artificially increasing precipitation from the clouds. The Russian authorities have concluded a 25.5 million rubles contract for dispersing silver iodide in the skies over Crimea until mid-December this year. According to Russian experts, in this way it is possible to double the amount of precipitation.
According to the Interfax news agency, a plane of Russian Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring, which has a special laboratory on board, has already arrived in the peninsula. However, experts have not found a single suitable cloud, which can be affected by the reagent.
“We work with clouds, but they are not all suitable – there must be certain parameters. I want to say, the situation is extraordinary. There are very few abnormal weather conditions – there are very few suitable clouds,” Bagrat Danelian, head of the Center for Cloud Physics and Active Impacts at the Central Aerological Observatory, told reporters.
According to him, meteorologists have been watching the clouds in Crimea since September 10, and only now there are a small number of clouds which can be used. It is not yet possible to assess the result of the first flights, analysis is required.
While the center’s employees analyzed the clouds, a storm warning was issued in Crimea. Nature took the matters in its own hands.
Ukraine used to provide up to 85% of Crimea’s fresh water through the North-Crimean Canal, which connects the Dnieper River with the peninsula. After Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, water supplies to the peninsula were cut off.
Water reserves in Crimea are replenished from reservoirs of natural runoff and underground sources. According to ecologists, the excessive use of water from natural sources has led to the salinization of the soil on the peninsula. Crimean authorities regularly call on the residents of the peninsula to save water.
The Permanent Mission of the President of Ukraine in Crimea reported that the supply of water to Russia-annexed Crimea and Sevastopol via the North Crimean Canal is possible only after the “de-occupation of the peninsula”.