Espreso. Global

Loss of Kakhovka Reservoir has devastating effect on Kherson region’s ecosystem – Ukraine’s Defense Ministry

5 September, 2023 Tuesday
19:10

The disappearance of the Kakhovka Reservoir will have a significant negative impact on the ecosystem of the Kherson region. The environmental damage will amount to about USD 1.5 billion

Major Vladyslav Dudar, representative of the Environmental Safety and Mine Action Department of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, said this at a briefing at the Military Media Center.

He said that the Kakhovka Reservoir became shallow due to the Russians' blowing up of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power station dam in June. The reservoir stored 94% of the water that fed 30 reclamation systems in the Kherson region, 74% of reclamation systems in the Zaporizhzhia region, and 30% in the Dnipro region.

And although the negative impact of the lack of sustainable supply is not so noticeable now, given the sufficient rainfall, the aridization trends in the south may intensify in the future.

"Due to the anthropogenic nature of the Kherson region's ecosystem and the lack of agriculture (draining the reservoir), this will have a negative impact," Dudar said.

Dmytro Zaruba, First Deputy Head of the State Ecological Inspectorate of Ukraine, also spoke about environmental damage. The main problem for the assessment is that inspectors cannot get to all the territories now, because there are either active hostilities or these territories are occupied by the enemy.

"As of today, the estimated losses for the Kakhovka Reservoir amount to USD 1.5 billion," Zaruba said, adding that final calculations will be possible after all the information is collected.

The Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant explosion

On June 6, invading Russian troops blew up the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant, completely destroying it. As a result of the tragedy, settlements in the Kherson and Mykolaiv regions were flooded. For a detailed coverage of the events, click here.

According to official figures, 31 people died as a result of the Russian explosion of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant. However, the Ministry of Defense suggests that the death toll could be much higher.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs noted that the destroyed Kakhovka HPP cannot be restored, while a new one can be built. Ukrhydroenergo noted that the development of a pilot project to rebuild the Kakhovka HPP will take two years, and its construction will take about six years.

Residents of the Kherson and Mykolaiv regions who lost their crops due to the blowing up of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant will be compensated. UAH 271 million has been allocated from the budget for this purpose. The amount of compensation can be up to UAH 100,000. The government has also allocated UAH 1 billion to provide drinking water to four regions affected by the Kakhovka HPP destruction.

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