The weather in July brought rain to Crimea – but still not enough to save the peninsula from its severe multi-year drought. That same month, the volume of freshwater in Crimea’s reservoirs decreased by almost 8.5 million cubic meters. By August, the amount of reservoir water left totaled around 75 million cubic meters, compared to 164 million last year (Crimea.kp.ru, August 3).
Crimea’s water problem is not a novelty. Due to relatively low annual average precipitation levels and a poor river network, chronic freshwater shortages have been an acute predicament for centuries. The first attempt to resolve this problem came after the drought of 1833, when Finnish-born Russian botanist Christian Steven proposed building a canal from the Dnipro River to Crimea. The idea only came to fruition nearly 130 years later.