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Crimea Turns to Polluted Water After Ukraine Cuts Supply

Crimean officials are considering supplying Sevastopol with water from the Orlovsky reservoir, whose water was deemed unsuitable for drinking in the 1980s.

Crimean officials have proposed solving water shortages in Sevastopol by supplying the city with drinking water from a lake that lies near a municipal landfill and a reservoir that has been closed since the Soviet era because of contamination concerns, a news report said.

The plan to serve the city of 340,000 inhabitants on the Black Sea coast would "reanimate" the Orlovsky reservoir, whose water was deemed unsuitable for drinking in the 1980s, and tap into a lake in the nearby Inkerman region, local news site reported Tuesday, citing the director of Sevgorodvodokanal water utility, Nikolai Pereguda. 

The lake is located just downstream of a local landfill, and the structure of the region's soil provides little deterrent to polluted runoff flowing into the lake, the report quoted an unidentified water expert as saying. 

Crimea has been suffering water shortages since Russia annexed it this spring. 

The peninsula has no land connection to Russia, and Ukraine refused to continue pumping water into the annexed territory at full volume, citing Crimea's unpaid water bills and reducing the stream to a mere trickle. 

Water shortages have already damaged Crimea's harvest this year, officials have said.

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