Radio Free Europe

RFE/RL journalists report the news in 22 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established, including Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Russia.

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Tap Water Rationed In Turkmen Capital; President Looks Toward Caspian Sea For Supplies.

Turkmen President Serdar Berdymukhammedov has suggested creating of a system to desalinate water from the Caspian Sea and directly deliver it via pipeline to Ashgabat. (illustrative photo)

Turkmen President Serdar Berdymukhammedov has suggested creating of a system to desalinate water from the Caspian Sea and directly deliver it via pipeline to Ashgabat. (illustrative photo)

ASHGABAT -- Residents of Ashgabat say tap water supplies have been rationed in the city in recent days with President Serdar Berdymukhammedov suggesting the creation of a system to bring supplies of desalinated water directly to the Turkmen capital from the Caspian Sea.
RFE/RL correspondents reported that the flow of water was fully switched off in Ashgabat during the day on June 9 and only resumed for a short while after 6 p.m. local time. It was subsequently switched off again overnight and supplies resumed for a few hours during the day on June 10. City authorities have neither informed residents of the outages nor provided any explanation about the situation. In recent years, issues with the drinking water have become a major problem in the extremely isolated Central Asian nation, with tap-water rations commonplace in remote regions during the summer. The rationing of tap water began last summer in Ashgabat. On June 8, Berdymukhammedov suggested the creation of a system to desalinate water from the Caspian Sea and directly deliver it via pipeline to Ashgabat. In remote regions, where average summer temperatures sometimes exceed 50 degrees Celsius, the situation is even more acute. In some regions, drinking water is only available for about one hour in the morning and less than two hours in the evening.

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