The disaster at the Kakhovka Reservoir is also affecting Kryvyi Rih, located 60 kilometers away. 70 percent of the water supply in the city depended on the reservoir, and currently, there is no water flowing from the taps in some parts of the city.
Water Scarcity in Kryvyi Rih: Residents Resort to Alternative Solutions Swetlana stands in the middle of a high-rise housing complex and turns on a tap connected to a water outlet through a hose. She then fills her two buckets to the brim with water.
"I'm going to fill up the bathtub right away," she says. "Then I'll have water to flush the toilet or wash dishes. After all, I live alone; my children have their own house. If I want to do laundry, I have to go to their place."
Drinking Water Becomes a Precious Commodity Swetlana resides in Kryvyi Rih, in southeastern Ukraine, and currently has no running water. Since the dam at the Kakhovka Reservoir was destroyed, the city of 600,000 inhabitants has been experiencing water shortages in certain areas, especially in higher-elevated apartments where faucets remain dry due to reduced water pressure.
Mykola is next in line at the water outlet. "We live on the ninth floor," she explains. "We don't have water, which is a problem because we need it for washing ourselves and doing the dishes. And there are four of us. Now I have to fetch at least six buckets."
Even drinking water is a precious commodity, especially during the increasingly hot early summer. Fortunately, Swetlana has enough for now: "I've been buying drinking water from the pet store around the corner for a while now. They still have sufficient supplies, and it's affordable. I don't spend much money on six liters."
Constant Demand for Water Distribution In a room at a school in Kryvyi Rih, Anastasiya is opening packs of bottled mineral water and organizing the bottles by quantity. She counts 80 liters. Anastasiya is part of a volunteer group distributing drinking water to local residents.
There is a constant demand, says the young woman: "Sometimes more than 30 people come in a day, sometimes fewer. It depends on the day of the week. Demand is often higher on weekends."
Call for Water Conservation However, such relief efforts may not be sufficient.
The population of Kryvyi Rih is urged to conserve water. Volunteer helper Anastasiya is frustrated that not everyone is following the guidelines.
There is concern that by the end of summer, two-thirds of Kryvyi Rih could be left without water supply. According to Yevhen Sytnychenko, head of the city's military administration, the situation is under control. The city can rely on another reservoir for minimum supply.
Sytnychenko says that in about two months, the current shortages should be resolved: "We already had emergency plans in place, which we are now implementing," he says. "There are other sources in the region, such as the Inhulez River. Works have been ongoing for over a week to develop them technologically."
Ecologists Sound the Alarm Ecologist Anna Ambrasova is less optimistic.
Kryvyi Rih has been suffering from water shortages in the summer for years, mainly due to the high demands of the industry. She believes that the plans to develop new water sources are delayed and poorly thought
Consequences Felt in Surrounding Areas as Well
The consequences of the disaster at the Kakhovka Reservoir are also being felt in the surrounding areas, as reported by Dmytro Nevesyoly. In his municipality, the mayor of Zelenodolsk, located southeast of Kryvyi Rih, states that water supply is secured for six months. However, even Zelenodolsk needs to develop new sources. Nevesyoly explains that other villages, on the other hand, are faring much worse.
Residents Maintain Optimism Despite the Situation
At the water outlet in the high-rise housing complex in Kryvyi Rih, Swetlana picks up her two buckets of water and heads home. She hopes that she won't have to come here for much longer. "They promise us that everything will be back to normal in two months. We'll see. A few days in this condition are no problem. Let's see what I'll say in a month."
Affected residents remain optimistic
Mykola takes a notably pragmatic view of the situation. Carrying water doesn't faze him, considering the experiences of the past 16 months: "We will survive. What else can we do? The main thing is that no rockets are flying."
Anastasiya, who volunteers to distribute drinking water to needy residents, is confident that the supply situation in Kryvyi Rih won't spiral out of control. She finds encouragement in the fact that solidarity is still strong even in this renewed crisis.
"We try not to dwell on the worst-case scenario," she says. "Drinking water is readily available in stores. It should be sufficient for the foreseeable future. And we can feel how the city is coming together more closely—people support each other with actions or just kind words."