The scale of flooding: what the Kakhovka reservoir looks like before and after Russians blew it up (new video)

By SSPDaily editionJan 15, 2024 19:12 PMSociety
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Kakhovka reservoir
Kakhovka reservoir. Source: www.wsj.com

One of the largest reservoirs in terms of water volume, the Kakhovka Reservoir, is now turning into a river. After the occupiers blew up the hydroelectric power plant on June 6, 2023, a man-made disaster occurred throughout southern Ukraine.

It stretches from Zaporizhzhia to Nova Kakhovka. You can see what is happening at the site of the old hydroelectric power plant in the video from hromadske.

What is known about the Kakhovka Reservoir

The reservoir was built in 1955-1958. After its commissioning, the water level rose by 16 meters. Previously, its total area was 2155 square kilometers and its volume was 18.2 cubic kilometers.

The decision to build the Kakhovka Reservoir was made after the dry summer of 1946, which led to the hungry winter of 1946-1947, Radio Liberty reports.

The Soviet government planned to maintain crop yields in this area. The decision was made during Joseph Stalin's lifetime, at a congress.

In the fall of 2022, Ukrainian authorities said that Russian troops had completely mined the dam. President Zelenskyy warned that Russia could blow it up to stop the advance of Ukrainian troops.

What happened after the hydroelectric dam explosion

As a result of the June 6 attack, about 80 settlements in Kherson and Mykolaiv regions were flooded.

About 17,000 people on the government-controlled right bank of the Dnipro River lost their homes and property, and more than 25,000 on the temporarily occupied left bank.

The estimated amount of environmental damage caused by Russia's undermining of the Kakhovka hydroelectric dam is about UAH 146 billion.

The Kakhovka Reservoir, as well as the floodplains of the lower Dnipro, are among the largest concentrations of freshwater fish in Ukraine. There were more than 40 species in the Kakhovka Reservoir alone, half of which are commercially important. The explosion killed more than 11 thousand tons of fish.

A large number of living organisms and animals that lived in the bottom silt of the reservoir's coastal zones, as well as in the steppes, were also affected. Due to the almost complete disappearance of the Kakhovka Reservoir, some bird species that nest in these areas lost their homes.

How many people died after the Kakhovka reservoir explosion

On July 20, 2023, the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Ihor Klymenko, quoted by Radio Liberty, said that 31 people were officially killed.

Is it possible to rebuild the Kakhovka HPP?

The scale of the destruction is very serious, and according to Ukrhydroenergo, the reservoir cannot be restored. In an interview with Forbes, Ukrhydroenergo CEO Ihor Syrota said that a new reservoir should be built after the war.

According to him, this will help solve the following issues:

  • Cover the water shortage in Kherson, Zaporizhzhia and Dnipro regions, which depended on supplies from the Kakhovka reservoir by 94%, 70% and 64%, respectively
  • To compensate for the loss of the irrigation system, which was fed from the Kakhovka reservoir
  • Provide water to the Zaporizhzhia NPP, which will require a large amount of it for its full launch
  • Ensure river navigation on the Dnipro River, where the depth at the site of the Kakhovka reservoir has now dropped from 16 to 2 meters.

On July 18, the government approved a decree on a pilot project to start rebuilding the Kakhovka HPP. It is planned to prepare the necessary base for the restoration in two years. The second stage will begin after the de-occupation of the territories where the HPP is located.

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