Winter drought leaves Kosovo with drinking water shortages
A visitor looks at the dry bed of the Batllava artificial lake from a pier in northern Kosovo on Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014, after record low water levels threatened to leave hundreds of thousands of people without water supply. (AP / Visar Kryeziu)
Published Wednesday, January 8, 2014 11:31AM EST
BATLAVA, Kosovo -- In 2013, winter brought heavy rains and flooding to Kosovo. The year before that, it was blizzards and snow drifts. Now it's a drought.
An official said Wednesday that some 400,000 people in and around Pristina, the capital, could face reduced supplies of drinking water, given a dramatic fall in the levels of the two artificial basins they get it from.
Arieta Mjeku, a spokeswoman for the regional water supply company, said strict reductions must be imposed if the winter drought continues. Mjeku said some areas are already on limited water supply.
Mid-January could bring much needed snow, but the receding waters in the two lakes have exposed large sections of cracked, dry earth.
Kosovo, a territory of 1.8 million people, seceded from Serbia in 2008.