#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. Taimyr is called the Land of a Thousand Lakes. Its physical map is full of blue color. Norilsk is surrounded by large rivers and lakes, as well as countless streams and shallow water bodies. And this is not just beauty, but also the most important resource.
The Greater Norilsk Lakes system is the world’s second fresh water reservoir. The first Norilsk maps show that even the territory of the old and modern city was dotted with numerous lakes, streams and rivers. It is now that they are covered, diverted or squeezed by culverts.
“Water is one of the main raw materials for metallurgical production”, wrote Nikolay Zenger, a hydraulic engineer and permafrost specialist, Nikolay Urvantsev’s friend and Mikhail Kim’s associate, in 1946.
It is not known how the fate of the city and the plant would have developed if Taimyr did not belong to the areas of the so-called excessive moisture. And even despite this, from time to time Norilsk experienced household and industrial thirst.
The largest lake near the future Norilsk was Dolgoye. It also became the first source of water – both for technological and household needs. On its shore, a pumping station and water conduits were built – for the first time in permafrost conditions.
But after the first five years of the Norilsk combine construction, there was not enough water in Dolgoye. An engineering decision was made – to block the Dolgaya river flowing out of the lake with a dam, and thereby raise the water level. The dam was built in 1943.
With the growth of the combine, the shortage of water returned. The processing plant start-up sharply increased water consumption, and the flow again exceeded the inflow: Dolgoye began to shallow again.
Another replenishable source was needed. Since 1949, it has been the Norilskaya river. But there was another problem – there was not enough metal for pipes. The combine’s head Vladimir Zverev and his engineers made a decision: the water conduit will be partly wooden. The first wooden pipe served for almost 20 years.
In the History Spot’s previous publication, we told that 85 years ago the Norilsk people began to fight snow and study snowdrifts: in January 1937 they created the first experimental snow fighting station.
Text: Svetlana Ferapontova, Photo: Nornickel Polar Branch archive