Share Tweet Pocket Add to Bookmarks
You're reading: Crimea suffering from lack of water from the mainland
on social media

PERVOMAISK, CRIMEA — The Kalinina farm collective near Pervomaisk in northern Crimea is busy with seasonal workers loading sacks of cabbages, or gathering up carrots in the big muddy fields. It looks like a successful harvest, but it’s a result of almost three years of hard struggle to adapt to new conditions here, after vital water supplies from Ukraine’s mainland stopped in 2014, following Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

“Now we have to lay out these maggots,” said farmer Vladimir Vasilievich, kicking a huge roll of plastic piping which snakes all over his carrot fields, providing a drip irrigation system which has to be replaced every two seasons.
Pervomaisk Administration Head of Agriculture Vladimir Mironyuk indicated an adjacent field green with a crop of winter grain. Farmers have switched to these less profitable crops, because they can use natural winter moisture. “But if we had Dnipro water,” he said resignedly, “the crop yield would be twice as high.”

With an average annual rainfall of just 330-350 millimeters, and no surface water sources, Pervomaisk district is entirely dependent on boreholes for drinking water and, until 2014, on irrigation for agriculture with water from the Dnipro River supplied via the Northern Crimean Canal. In spring 2014, 15,000 hectares were ready or planted for cultivation, providing work and income for the vast majority of inhabitants of this flat, inhospitable region.

Exclusive article

Sign up or subscribe to view more articles.
See All Plans
Monthly plan
Get unlimited article access, anytime, anywhere.

Yearly plan
Access all the exclusive content on and the complete online archive.

Add comment

Sorry, you must be logged in to post a comment.

I'm sorry but I just can't seem to find any sympathy for these people.

More in this section

Add a picture
Choose file
Add a quote

Are you sure you want to delete your comment?


Are you sure you want to delete all user's comments?


Are you sure you want to unapprove user's comment?


Are you sure you want to move to spam user's comment?


Are you sure you want to move to trash user's comment?

Spelling error report

The following text will be sent to our editors: