The fields in Ukraine's south could turn into deserts by as early as next year as a result of the occupiers' destruction of the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant (HPP).
Source: Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine
Quote: "The man-made disaster will cut off the water supply to 31 field irrigation systems in Dnipropetrovsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia oblasts.
In 2023, only 13 irrigation systems are operating on the right bank of the Dnipro River. The act of terrorism at the Kakhovka HPP has effectively left 94% of irrigation systems in Kherson, 74% in Zaporizhzhia, and 30% in Dnipropetrovsk oblasts without a source of water.
The destruction of the Kakhovka HPP could cause the fields in Ukraine's south to turn into deserts by as early as next year. Without the Kakhovka Reservoir, not only farmers and water users will suffer, but also the sources of drinking water supply to populated areas."
Details: According to preliminary estimates by the ministry, approximately 10,000 hectares of agricultural land on the right bank of Kherson Oblast will be flooded. An area several times larger will be flooded on the left bank of the oblast, which is currently under occupation.
The ministry reports that detailed information will be known in the coming days, after data and images showing the extent of the flooding has been analysed.
The destruction of the Kakhovka HPP will also have negative consequences for fisheries. As noted by the Ministry of Agricultural Policy, an unusually high morbidity of fish is already being recorded, and the caviar will dry up in the areas where the water level has dropped.
In addition, the wildlife of the reservoir that has been carried away by the water flow into the floodplains formed below the Kakhovka HPP dam will also perish – because in the future, when the "flood" wave subsides, these biological resources will end up on dry land.
Another problem will be the entry and death of freshwater fish and other biological resources in the salt waters of the Black Sea. In turn, Black Sea wildlife may also die from the massive influx of fresh water.
As a result of the destruction of the hydroelectric power station, losses to the fishing industry from the death of adult species alone could reach 95,000, or US$107 million. In total, according to preliminary calculations, losses from the death of all biological resources will amount to roughly US$281 million.
The ministry adds that the negative impact of the devastation of aquatic biological resources will persist for several years in a row, even if the bed of the Kakhovka reservoir is filled in the near future.
The Ministry of Agrarian Policy emphasised that all data is based on preliminary estimates only.