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Water is returning to the Kakhovka Reservoir: an ecologist told about a process that has not been seen for 65 years

Anna PavlovaSociety
This phenomenon is easily explained by spring snowmelt

Part of the previously drained territory of the Kakhovka Reservoir is now covered with water. This is the result of the spring flood.

Water arrives along the Dnipro River and spills over. Ecologist Vadym Maniuk told Suspilne about this and noted that this has not happened for 65 years.

He also noted that the water that has accumulated in the upper reaches of the Dnipro during the winter is now being released.

"The water arrives along the Dnipro riverbed and spills over, if you look at satellite images or a map of the Velykyi Luh from above, you will see dozens and hundreds of channels branching off from the Dnipro, then they branch like a circulatory system into smaller and smaller channels, like capillaries, and reach the most remote corners of this Velykyi Luh," the ecologist said.

According to him, in some parts of the Velykyi Luh, which used to be called estuaries – these are the lowest parts where water always arrived in the spring and stayed there all season. They gradually dried up by summer, but they were lake systems that held a lot of water. Now the same thing is happening, meaning that most of the water is now in the places that used to be called estuaries.

"This is a very positive process. For the floodplains of the Velykyi Luh to be revived, they need spring floods to be vital. If it doesn't happen, the floodplains will simply degrade," the ecologist said.

Therefore, it is now necessary to imitate the natural regime.

"In nature, big water used to come to the Dnipro in spring. Then the level gradually decreased to the maximum by the end of summer and in the fall, the levels were usually very low – and that was normal. That's why it's good that they didn't give it excessive water in the fall. It is exactly what we need now. And there is a natural nuance: the flood regime in Velykyi Luh started a little later. But now it's not critical that it started earlier, the main thing is to keep it going as long as possible, at least for the whole month of April, until May, when there should be high water there," the expert said.

In his opinion, the water will go down within a month. In the future, everything will depend on the weather. If it rains, there will be enough precipitation in the entire Dnipro basin, there is hope that this regime will continue to be maintained until the beginning of summer. If there is a dry season, then, accordingly, there will be no such opportunities. But even with this moisture, if the water level stays high for a month, it will be enough for the season.

According to the expert, the availability of water will only have a positive impact on the environment in the future.

"It is very good when water pulsates in the Dnipro floodplains: that is, it comes, fills the floodplains, and then leaves the floodplains. Fluctuations in the level are necessary for such systems: first, the flow from the Dnipro to the floodplains, and then from the floodplains to the Dnipro. This constant movement revitalizes the system: it is better saturated with oxygen. The ecosystem is more stable, it lives a fuller life, and so it should be," the ecologist summarized his opinion.

As previously reported, in early March 2024, water began to flow into the Kakhovka Reservoir again. A significant part of the previously dried-up territory of the former reservoir was submerged.

As a reminder, on the morning of June 6, 2023, Russian troops blew up the Kakhovka HPP, flooding settlements in Mykolaiv and Kherson regions.

A month after the explosion, the area turned into a desert. The hydroelectric power plant itself is beyond repair, with 11 of the 28 spans destroyed at the top of the dam.

In August 2023, Russian propagandists showed in a video what the Kakhovka HPP looks like now. After the explosion, it was almost destroyed, and some of its structures went underwater.

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