March 22 – World Water Day

March 22, 2023

While the entire civilized world is trying to save water resources, Russia in the temporarily occupied Crimea uses them irrationally.

As a result of environmental monitoring of the use of water resources in Crimea, the Crimean Tatar Resource Center recorded numerous facts of violations of the water balance of the peninsula by the occupiers.

Since 2014, Russia’s economic policy in Crimea has been based not on the available water resources of the peninsula, but on the expectation of water supply through the North Crimean Canal. We also note the factor of the illegal increase in the population in Crimea from 2.5 million to at least 3.5 million people, including through the formation of numerous military units, law enforcement agencies, the mass resettlement of officials, as well as facilitating the initiative resettlement of Russian citizens to Crimea from disadvantaged regions of the Russian Federation. That is, there are much more people, and on the contrary, less water.

In addition, we focus on Russia’s regular military exercises on the peninsula, which require the use of additional water resources. The occupiers also use fresh water at the bases for the repair of military equipment, which leads to the pollution of aquatic ecosystems.

It should be noted that in many regions of the Crimea, groundwater pollution with nitrogenous compounds, including nitrates, is observed. In the vicinity of Simferopol, powerful nitrate pollution of underground aquifers is recorded, and bacteriological pollution in the area of Sevastopol and the southern coast of Crimea. In general, pollution of the peninsula’s water supply sources occurs mainly due to the discharge of household, industrial and atmospheric wastewater. During the time since the occupation, this process has acquired several new essential features.

It can be stated that the quality of drinking water in the Crimea is characterized by a sharply unsatisfactory state and a steady trend towards further deterioration. This is due to the reluctance of the occupiers to build treatment facilities to improve water quality.

The Russian Federation bears full responsibility for the crisis in the Crimean water use.

Recall that earlier the CTRC informed about the environmental consequences of the explosion of the dam on the North Crimean Canal.

Also, the Crimean Tatar Resource Center systematically informs the international community about the water problem in Crimea. In particular, the CTRC experts prepared and sent to the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment, Dr. David Boyd, a report on the topic The impact of the irrational policy of the occupying authorities of the Russian Federation on the water balance of Crimea.

In addition, the Crimean Tatar Resource Center and the Charitable Foundation Mir and Co presented an exclusive documentary film Crimea. Dehydration, which raises one of the most pressing issues of our time: the shortage of water on the peninsula, and highlights the irrational approach of the Russian authorities to the use of water resources.