Ukraine shuts off water flow to Crimea with new dam

A new dam on the north Crimean canal has shut off water flow to the annexed Crimea. The stationary concrete dam was constructed on the border of mainland Ukraine with the annexed peninsula, the TSN news program reports. The water saved from the Kakhovka Reservoir is meant to irrigate the southern Kherson region.

If the canal is closed off several dozens of kilometers from the administrative border, where the last stationary dam is, the farms further south would be under threat of drought. For this reason water is allowed to flow there under lower pressure, and the farmers have set up their own dam with sandbags.

A fully-fledged solution has been found for this problem, which will make it possible to cultivate rice and wheat. “We now have confidence in our tomorrow,” farmer Yuriy Dudchenko explained.

The dam was under construction for a year and cost 35 million hryvnia. The structure reliably shuts off the flow of the canal, not allowing water into the occupied territory.

Specialists say that work on developing the new dam will continue. “The first stage is complete. The continuation will be the creation of infrastructure. Winches, guard rooms, security,” explained the head engineer responsible for the North Crimean Canal, Volodymyr Okhapku.

The new dam has a valve which can be opened at any time. When the Crimea returns to Ukraine, water will once again fill the 300 km of the North Crimean canal.

The Crimean authorities have called the dam which shuts off water to the annexed peninsula “minor foul play”.

“I can’t call this anything other than minor foul play. I repeat: we have enough water, the reservoirs are full, and furthermore, we don’t need their water. But they are so happy to have such a dam,” said Yukhym Fiks, chairman of the state construction committee of the so-called “republic’s” state council.

Another representative of the Crimean authorities, Igor Vayl, head of the so-called “State committee on water economy and melioration” of the Crimea, said that the peninsula has all the water it needs, Interfax reports.

“We have enough water for the holiday season, we have 100% of the supplies we need. We have no water problems,” he said.

  Ukraine, Crimea, water, north Crimean canal, dam

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