Ukraine updates: Kakhovka dam blast threatens water supply


The destruction of the Kakhovka dam is a fast-moving disaster that is evolving into a long-term environmental catastrophe affecting drinking water, food supplies and ecosystems reaching into the Black Sea, observers have said.
On Sunday, the British Defense Ministry said the incident has “almost certainly severely disrupted the occupied Crimean Peninsula’s primary source of fresh water” because the water level in the dam’s reservoir had likely fallen below the level of the inlet that feeds the canal.
British authorities said, “water will soon stop flowing to Crimea.”
“However, the Russian authorities will likely meet the immediate water requirements of the population using reservoirs, water rationing, drilling new wells, and delivering bottled water from Russia,” the ministry added
The impact also continues to be felt in Ukrainian-held territory, with major flooding displacing entire communities, destroying homes, and creating a severe health emergency.
“Concurrently, communities on both the Russian and Ukrainian-controlled sides of the flooded Dnipro are facing a sanitation crisis with limited access to safe water, and an increased risk of water-borne diseases,” the ministry said in an intelligence update on the war in Ukraine.
The long-term environmental impact is still being determined for downstream ecosystems that were completely inundated by the flood waters.
Ukraine’s Agriculture Ministry estimates that 10,000 hectares (24,000 acres) of farmland in the parts of Kherson province held by Kyiv, and “many times more than that” in territory occupied by Russia.
“The worst consequences will probably not affect us directly, not me, not you, but rather our future generations, because this man-made disaster is not transparent,” Kateryna Filiuta, an expert in protected habitats for the Ukraine Nature Conservation Group, told the Associated Press.
“The consequences to come will be for our children or grandchildren, just as we are the ones now experiencing the consequences of the Chernobyl disaster, not our ancestors.”