Resumption of Fighting Affects Water Supply in Eastern Ukraine

14 Jan 2015 by OOSKAnews Correspondent
DONETSK, Ukraine

Electricity supply to the Donetskaya filtration station in eastern Ukraine resumed on January 13th; the facility had lost power due to military action in the region, regional water utility Voda Donbassa said this week.

On the same day, the pumping station at the first lift of the Yuzhno-Donbasskiy main, through which water is routed to three filtration stations -- Donetskaya, Velikoanadolskaya and Krasnoarmeiskaya -- came under fire.

The Donetskaya filtration station supplies water to Donetsk, the capital of Donetsk province, and to the cities of Avdiivka and Yasynuvata.

Voda Donbassa said the other filtration stations “do not have back-up reservoirs, and if the pumping station is not in operation, the residents of the cities of Avdiivka, Volnovakha, Dokuchaevsk, … [and another 14 cities including some districts of Donetsk] will be left without water."

The utility noted that electricity supply to the pumping station at the first lift had previously been cut off on August 17th, and the facility had only become operational again on October 19th. More than 600,000 people were left without access to centralized water supply during the intervening two months.  

The resumption of fighting between Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russia separatists in Donetsk and Luhansk provinces has made the water supply situation in the region worse, Voda Donbassa said.

“The situation at the Donetskaya filtration station remains extremely strained,” it said. “Because of uninterrupted [weapons] fire, the [utility] staff is usually in a bunker.”

The pumping station at the third lift in Snizhne lost power on January 11th. One day earlier, the Elenovskaya booster pumping station also lost power, which in turn halted water supply to Elenovka. The city of Dokuchaevsk is receiving water through gravity flows.

A gate was torn away at the Zuevskoye water reservoir as a result of fighting.

At least six Voda Donbassa employees have been killed and more than 20 wounded in the course of carrying out their duties due to ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine. A significant portion of water infrastructure has also been destroyed.