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Kakhovka Reservoir – Russia is Sabotaging Ukraine’s Largest Hydro System

Russia is intentionally draining the Kakhovka water storage, which is at its lowest level in over three decades.

Russians have depleted the Kakhovka reservoir below a critical level. The normal reservoir retaining level is 16 meters. At 12.7 meters, it is physically impossible for water to be discharged. When the reservoir’s water level began to fall, the Russians opened floodgates in November.

The cooling system at ZNPP, Europe’s largest nuclear power station, could be seriously damaged if the water level drops another meter. The risk of a man-made catastrophe that threatens ZNPP’s cooling systems will affect more than 1.5 million people.

The agricultural sector is also at risk. The Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions’ eastern areas are at risk of becoming zones of critical agriculture. The canal zone runs from the water reservoir and is responsible for cultivating 200,000 hectares worth of agricultural land, including grains, vegetables, soy beans, and other crops. This will make it more difficult to sow in the future, and worsen an already difficult situation in agriculture.


In addition to the fact that fertiliser prices have risen and farmers are running out of fuel and seeds, domestic producers are expected to harvest half the amount of grain and oilseeds this year than before the war. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has caused a reduction in the available land for cultivation, a drop in crop yields, and a long-standing blockade on Ukrainian grain exports. For a long period, farmers have been without income, which has meant that they don’t have enough money to purchase fertiliser or prepare the land for sowing season.

In cities like Energodar and Melitopol which are under Russian occupation, water shortages can be expected. Due to rapid drop in water levels in Kakhovka reservoir, the DniproKryvyi Rih canal’s pumping station may be shut down. Kryvyi Rih, as well as coastal communities, may be left without water from Dnipro.

Russians are filling the Crimean peninsula’s reservoirs with water from the Kakhovka Reservoir, which will cause havoc in the ecosystem throughout the whole of south Ukraine. Internet users have seen a video showing the mass death of fish from the Kakhovka reservoir. A significant drop in water level was one of the major causes of their deaths. The fish died from lack of oxygen after falling into the so-called “ice trap”. This is caused by a sudden drop in water level and stable frosts.


These technological and humanitarian threats can only be addressed by timely sanctions against the aggressor.

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