14 Jun 2023 22:55

Several Ukrainian regions to receive water from alternative sources until flash floods, irrigation out of question - Ukrhydroenergo

MOSCOW. June 14 (Interfax) - Two regions will have to forget about getting water from the Kakhovka reservoir until flash floods, and Kherson will be able to take some water from the Dnieper downstream the water reservoir, Ukrhydroenergo General Director Igor Sirota said.

The Ukrainian media reported, citing Ukrhydroenergo head's statement at a discussion organized by the European Business Association on Wednesday, that Ukrhydroenergo was trying to accumulate the maximum amount of water in the Dnieper reservoirs to launch the construction of an upper cofferdam (on the site of the Kakhovka HPP), which will also serve as a bridge, after the Kakhovka water reservoir is depleted.

He said that alternative options to supply drinking and technical water to the Dnepropetrovsk region and the Kiev-controlled part of the Zaporozhye region were currently being explored. The needs of Krivoy Rog and Nikopol will be met by redirecting water via other canals, in particular, from the upper reservoir in the Zaporozhye region. This work will take approximately two to three months.

Sirota did not clarify the irrigation situation in the fields and focused on the need to provide both regions with potable and technical water.

Ukrhydroenergo is elaborating a project to build an upper cofferdam that would prevent the reservoir from depleting, he said. The project will be considered at a government meeting on July 10.

Along with the construction of the upper cofferdam, the lower part of the hydropower plant is likely to be reconstructed, as well. Hydropower engineers are also talking about the need to dismantle the entire plant, which will take about a year.

"The cofferdams we are talking about will [...] be used as a bridge. At the same time, we will develop a project to build a new plant at the same place, which will take about five years," the Ukrhydroenergo head said.

He noted that all Ukrainian hydraulic facilities have shallowed following the Kakhovka HPP incident. This makes it difficult to determine the level of shallowing of the Kakhovka reservoir, which is seven to eight meters deep. It is currently not possible to determine the level of the dam's destruction. If the lower part of the facility is not destroyed, hydro engineers assume that the water will remain in the Kakhovka reservoir at about six to seven meters.

"Every 10 centimeters is important for us. It will be possible to fill the reservoir only after flash floods. It will take months. To restore the water intake for the needs of all cities adjacent to the Dnieper the water level in the reservoir should be 12.7 meters," Sirota said.

He said achieving the level required for water intake and supply to a number of regions would not be possible in the first year after the disaster. "We will have to accumulate water in the reservoir for a year and a half or two years in order to reach the required level and provide cities located above the Kakhovka reservoir with water," the Ukrhydroenergo head said.