The North Crimean Canal has begun to fill with water, the Russian state news service RIA reported on Friday. The canal brought water from the Dnipro River to Crimea. The service reports that the canal is slowly filling water and is expected to be made usable on April 15.
The canal was built in 1975 to provide water primarily for agriculture and industry. After Russia took control of Crimea in 2014, Russian officials took over the canal facilities, which had been owned and operated by the State Water Resources Agency of Ukraine. Ukrainian officials reported that the Russian authorities did not pay for water delivery, and subsequently Ukraine dammed up the canal.
A 2015 study in a Russian journal reports that 85% of the water in Crimea came via the canal, of which 72% was used for agriculture, 10% for industry, and 18% for drinking water and other public needs.