And the bulk of its energy, too.
If you guessed Ukraine, you win the prize that I don't have. Maybe a bottle of Russian vodka.
This brief article from the December 2016 issue of the FMSO publication OE Watch was taken from a Ukrainian weekly. What I've reproduced below is the OE Watch commentary. The entire article is here (scanned version):
Read a better copy on pages 39-40 here:
OE Watch Commentary: Over the past decade, Russian military theorists and pundits have posited that one of the chief drivers of future conflict will be scarce natural resources. The current lack of fresh water supply in Crimea may be a case in point. In the accompanying excerpt from a Ukrainian weekly, the author points out that the fresh water supply in Crimea has dropped toward critical levels, and that ifa solution is not found soon, some settlements may be “doomed.”
Prior to March 2014, Ukraine provided the bulk of energy and water to Crimea via power grids and the North Crimean Canal [shown in red on the map below], which supplied “85 per cent of Crimea’s fresh water needs.” These sources have since been restricted by the government in Kiev, forcing Russia to ferry supplies into Crimea. Deprived of a land route into Crimea, the author describes the challenges the Kremlin has faced in providing water and energy to the peninsula. While the construction of a rail/road bridge from Russia to Crimea over the Kerch Strait continues, it will likely not be completed for at least another year. Indeed, the author refers to “the fairy tale about the bridge,” which will purportedly solve “a number of problems,” yet in reality, will not fully address Crimea’s water and energy shortage. Plans to generate more energy for Crimea via electric turbines or gas pipelines (which could be used to run a desalinization project) have been hampered by Western sanctions.
The author describes how Russian offcials have attempted in the past to bribe local Ukrainian authorities to channel water into Crimea. To date, these efforts have failed, and the water situation in some parts of Crimea has fallen to dangerous levels, where “soil salinization, particularly in north Crimea, [has begun] to develop.” According to the experts quoted in the article, should the shortages continue, people living in these areas will be forced to relocate, perhaps even off of Crimea. The author concludes the article by suggesting that the Kremlin may ultimately back down and renounce its annexation of Crimea if the Ukrainian government remains firm in its resource blockade of Crimea. To date, however, the current Kremlin rhetoric and other available evidence do not point toward a such a resolution of Crimea’s water problems. End OE Watch Commentary (Finch)
Sure seemed like a good idea at the time!
So will this predicament influence Russia's decision to back away from its annexation of Crimes? I would not bet on that.
WWTDS? - What Would The Donald Say? So sad.
"The word 'enough' does not exist for water, fire, and women." - Ukrainian proverb