Nornickel upgrades city water supply system

Nornickel upgrades city water supply system

April 13, 2023

Instead of two old water intakes, the Norilskaya river will have a new one.

#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. The Nornickel company has begun to address one of the most pressing issues for Norilsk – ensuring guaranteed water supply to the population and industrial sites. Instead of two obsolete surface water intakes on the Norilskaya river, a modern and efficient one will appear.

The project will help solve the problem of water supply to the polar city in low water conditions. The main technical solutions for the project were developed by one of the country’s leading specialized institutes, Lenhydroproekt.

The construction of a new water intake for the city is vital. In recent years, the problem of low water on the Norilskaya river, the most important source of water supply for the city and the company’s industrial site, has become more complicated in Norilsk.

Due to the decrease in precipitation in summer, the river becomes very shallow. Sometimes its quantity is only 30 percent of previously observed long-term averages. This jeopardizes the uninterrupted supply of water to the entire Norilsk industrial region.

For the first time, the problem of low water worsened in 2013. That year, to resolve the issue, the company built temporary rockfill dams. Since then, the water level in the Norilskaya river has never dropped to a critical level, but Nornickel annually prepares to fill the channel – they clear access roads, coastal sites for storing soil. There are rails at each water intake and measurements are made two or three times a day.

The natural anomaly creates large technical and production risks for Norilsk Nickel, which may arise due to the introduction of restrictions on both heat supply and drinking water supply to residential consumers, and lead to non-fulfillment of the production program. Therefore, it was decided to build a new modern water intake. Norilsk Nickel plans to invest about 13 billion rubles in the construction of a hydraulic structure.

A new water intake with a pumping station of the first lift will be built on the Norilskaya River – instead of two existing and long outdated ones (they have been operating since 1948 and 1979, respectively). The new water intake facility will be designed using the most advanced technical solutions, taking into account the climatic features of Norilsk and in accordance with all applicable environmental requirements.

The new water intake will take into account the possible shallowing of the river in the summer. Its capacity will be about 25 000 cubic meters per hour to cover the existing and prospective water consumption loads of both industrial enterprises and the population.

The commissioning of the facility will make it possible to exclude the dependence of water supply at the Norilsk, Talnah, Kayerkan company industrial sites, as well as Norilsk residential sector, on changes in hydrological conditions in the region.

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Text: Victor Tsaryov, Photos: Nikolay Shchipko, Denis Kozhevnikov and Andrey Radchenko/@nordroden

April 13, 2023

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