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WASH Cluster Incident Report №262, 20/06/2020

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Voda Donbasa (VD) informed the WASH Cluster that fighting has cut two vital power lines providing electricity to the 3rd Lift Pumping Station of the Siverskyi Donets-Donbas (SDD) channel: the first was destroyed at around 9pm last night (19th June 2020) and the second at 5.35 am today (20th June 2020). The two lines are both 110 kilovolts (KV) in size. Currently, only a third (and the last remaining) power line, which is 35 KV in size remains. Voda Donbassa staff have switched to using smaller pumps, so that now only 28,000 m3 per hour is crossing the line into NGCA and flowing downstream in the system. A fourth power line supplying the station was cut in 2016, but was never repaired. All power lines are operated by DTEK electricity company, who report that they have already located the damage and already requested both a Window of Silence (WoS) and demining works from JCCC in order to make repairs. This is very serious incident, and currently VD supplies only 50% of the normal water flow to all of NGCA (Donetsk); to Pokrovsk, Volnovakha and Mariupol areas. All Filter Stations that have water reservoirs, started to use those backup resources, however those reservoirs would run out eventually. Filter Stations have reduced water supply to cities to only 80% of the normal volume. It is reported that people living in higher up areas (such as the centre of Donetsk city) or in higher floors of muli-storey apartment blocks are not receiving water due to low-pressure issues caused by this incident. Clearly there are risks to health and hygiene, and a risk of increasing the spread of COVID-19 should the final power line, and therefore water, be cut. 3.1 million people depend on the affected pumping station for domestic water supply, meanwhile many people also use that water, in the summer, to maintain small vegetable gardens, now also at risk. The WASH Cluster is in touch with Voda Donbasa, DTEK and OSCE and will inform partners of any developments.