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Ukraine Will Not Resume Water Supply To Crimea While It Remains Occupied

KYIV, Ukraine

The government of Ukraine indicated 5 February that there will be no resumption of water supply to Russian-occupied Crimea through the North Crimean Canal.

During a visit to the Kherson region on 11-12 February, the Verhkovna Rada Committee on Human Rights will visit a dam at the closed section of the North Crimean Canal that is near an entry-exit checkpoint between the "Autonomous Republic" of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, the largest city in Crimea. In advance of the visit, the Permanent Representative of the President of Ukraine, Anton Korynevich, stressed that the water from the channel will flow into Crimea via the canal only after the region has been de-occupied and that the scheduled committee meeting has nothing to do with water supply.

"In response to some media reports about the possible resumption of water supply to Crimea...we emphasise that this information is untrue," Korynevych posted on Facebook.

"Nobody talks about any resumption of water supply; the water from the Channel will flow to Crimea only after the de-occupation. No water will be supplied prior to the de-occupation. The offsite meeting of the Committee has nothing to do with the issue of water supply, the members will familiarize with the situation near the administrative border with the temporarily occupied Autonomous Republic of Crimea," Korynevych wrote.

Separately, it was reported 5 February that the second-largest city in Crimea, and the administrative capital of the occupied region, Simferopol, is facing critical water shortages and is predicting enough supply to last only 90 to 100 days.

The three regional reservoirs are at 30 percent capacity. Water restrictions are to be announced 10 February. First measures include limiting availability to only mornings and evenings and to supplying hot water only on Saturday and Sunday. Critical public services such as hospitals and schools will continue to receive supply but residents and businesses will be curtailed.

Administration officials have citied the second year of low snowfall and a dry spring, summer and autumn in 2019. These officials have also been criticised by Vladimir Putin for poor resource management and failure to address the perennial shortages.

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