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Ukraine ready to resume water supply to Crimea on its own terms

May 14, 2014, 15:06 UTC+3 SIMFEREPOL

Water supplies to Crimea may be resumed after a debt of $146,500 is paid, an official letter from the Ukrainian authorities says

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Artesian wells brought back into operation in Crimea

Artesian wells brought back into operation in Crimea

© ITAR-TASS/Stanislav Krasilnikov

SIMFEREPOL, May 14. /ITAR-TASS/. Ukraine is ready to resume water supply to Crimea through the North-Crimean canal on certain terms, the Chairman of Crimea’s Committee for Water Resources Development and Irrigated Farming, Igor Vail, told ITAR-TASS.

He said the Ukrainian side had sent a letter with a proposal to resume the supplies of freshwater from the River Dnieper to Crimea through the canal upon repayment of a debt of around $146,500, coordination of the price and return of the vehicles used in the Crimean system of water development.

“We have an official letter and no other conditions have been specified so far,” Vail said

April 26, 2014, Ukraine shut the North-Crimean canal, by which Crimea receives 85% of the freshwater it needs.

May 6, Crimea’s First Deputy Prime Minister Rustam Temirgaliyev said the region is fully independent from the supplies of Ukrainian freshwater today.

He said efforts were being made along several directions to ensure this independence, including the diverting of rivers and the Tagansky freshwater reservoir to the North-Crimean canal.

‘The most troubled districts in our republic — Sudak, Feodosiya and Kerch - will be getting water from an intake located in the Crimean Mountains,” Temirgaliyev said.

The North Crimea Canal links the main body of the River Dnieper and the peninsula. About 700 million cubic meters of water used to flow into the region through it, thus meeting 80% to 85% of the local demand. The 402 km long canal was built from 1961 through 1971. It begins at the Kakhovka water reservoir in the Kherson region of Ukraine and reaches the city of Kerch. Its maximum throughput capacity stands at 300 cubic meters per second.

The poor technical condition of the canal reduced the standard throughput of water to just 16 cubic meters by April 26, 2014, when the Ukrainian side blocked the water flow to avenge for Crimea’s reunification with Russia.

The operations of the canal are seasonal. The throughput of water was launched in March this year.

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