The situation with the Crimean water supply has assumed the status of a full-fledged disaster. Guests and residents of the resort region are forced to open taps for several hours a day and use on the eve of the start of the heating season technical water from batteries for their household needs. The head of the republic Sergey Aksenov announced the exhaustion of all underground water reserves on the peninsula. If this is not a disaster, then what is a disaster?
Less than six years have passed since Ukraine closed the North Crimean Canal, when Moscow decided to build desalination stations on the peninsula. Prior to that, they preferred to dig artesian wells, mineralized water from which makes the soil sterile, as well as to hold prayers, calling on the "heavenly office" to shed rain on the dry Crimea. The snowless 2020-2021 winter and dry summer showed the complete bankruptcy of this frivolous approach. Governor Aksenov actually admitted defeat:
Strategically, of course, without desalination, we will not provide Simferopol in full. I say this if there is no precipitation and we are taking the worst pessimistic forecast now.
So, after all, desalination of sea water, the need for which has been said and written so much in recent years, including on the "Reporter". But what will this “pour out” into in practice, in every sense of the word? It is reported that there will be two desalination stations. The first will appear in the village of Nikolaevka, which is on the coast of the Simferopol region, the second - in the village of Frunze, Saki region. It's a good thing, but two legitimate questions arise at once.
At firstwhere do the authorities intend to get so much electricity for this? The Israelis somehow managed to do without nuclear energy at their desalination plants, but Russia is not Israel, if they do something in our country, then they do it on a large scale, for a long time and expensive, so you can't do without a nuclear power plant. According to a number of domestic media outlets, specialists from the Kurchatov Institute Research Center will be involved in the project. Perhaps we will talk about the resumption of the Crimean NPP project. About this option, we wrote back in 2018, when Rosatom was involved in assessing the problem of water supply to the peninsula. However, since then a lot of water has flowed into the sea from the North Crimean Canal, but things are still there.
How will the Kurchatovites be surprised? Will they drive our world's only floating nuclear power plant "Akademik Lomonosov" from Chukotka to the Black Sea? Are reactors with nuclear submarines adapted to the operation of desalination plants? This, of course, will be faster than rebuilding the Crimean nuclear power plant, but it will still be a rather slow process. If the authorities planned to desalinate seawater, then it was much earlier to get puzzled about obtaining electricity for this process. Six years have passed after all.
Secondly, it is not clear what to do with the waste. It is reported that the plants will operate on the principle of reverse osmosis, resulting in waste in the form of concentrated salt brine. From two cubic meters of seawater comes out one cube of fresh and one cube of salt solution, which must be put somewhere. The construction of desalination plants is planned on the resort coast near the two main cities of the peninsula, Sevastopol and Simferopol. If concentrated salt solution in huge quantities begins to flow into coastal waters, the entire ecosystem of the Crimean coast will be destroyed. It is also called the option of dumping waste into existing salt lakes, but ecologists rightly object, pointing out that their healing properties will be destroyed.
At this stage, there is an opinion that it will be necessary to build a kind of large-scale branch pipe, which will begin to discharge the saline solution into the Karkinitsky Bay, from where a view of the Ukrainian coast of the Kherson region opens. There is also the Razdolnoye district, famous for its natural reserve of world importance. More than 240 species of waterfowl live on the Swan Islands. For six years now, due to the discharge of water from the North Crimean Canal by Ukraine, the sea has been constantly desalinated here, which leads to the transformation and destruction of the local ecosystem. This is where it is proposed to pour Russian waste from the desalination process.