SIMFEROPOL, August 25. /TASS/. Crimea has received no positive signals from Ukraine about the resumption of water supplies from the River Dnieper to resolve he water shortage problems on the peninsula, Crimea’s deputy prime minister and the republic’s envoy to the Russian president, Georgy Muradov, told TASS on Sunday.
Earlier, Muradov said that once the Dnieper flows into Ukraine from Russia it enjoys an international status. Crimea’s authorities, in his words, planned to ask the country’s leadership to "help begin sounding or, maybe, a negotiating process with the Ukrainian side."
"No positive signal on that matter are coming from Ukraine. No talks are underway. Ukrainian officials say they would give no water to Crimea," Muradov said, adding however that a number of Ukrainian politicians, including its former President Leonid Kravchuk, had been speaking against closing the North Crimean Canal and the subsequent water blockade of Crimea.
"Our position is clear. We have been generally coping with the water shortage problem: we collect river flows, drill wells. We are looking at such options as building seawater desalting plants and water ducts. But there are international law requirements concerning multinational waters, including on technical facilities enjoying an international status, such as the North Crimean Canal," he noted.
Crimea has been having water shortage problems since 2014 when Ukraine closed sluices of the North Crimean Canal in the Kherson region. The canal met up to 90% of Crimea’s demand for both drinking and irrigation water. The most serious situation is in the peninsula’s eastern and northern areas, where subsoil waters are excessively salinized.
Nevertheless, efforts are being taken to resolve the problem. Thus, by September 2016 three water supply intake facilities were commissioned and 36 water wells were drilled to ensure supplies of 195,000 cubic meters of water a day.