UPDATE 1810 GMT: Opposition sources give a different story about the water crisis, denying that it is the outcome of an insurgent cut-off of supplies.
Well-placed EA sources point to regime barrel-bombing of pumping stations that led to outages and, after initial repairs, to unclean tap water. They say insurgents, including Jabhat al-Nusra, are trying to fix the water supply and, that if/when it is resumed, they will not “dry out” regime areas.
Engineer Omar Muhammad confirmed the barrel-bombing of the opposition-controlled a-Sakhur Station for Electricity Generation. Meanwhile, the regime had delayed repairing the Suleiman al-Halabi pumping station which it controls, according to Muhammad.
Activist Ahmed al-Ahmed said on Tuesday that “continued bombing of opposition-controlled areas has led to widespread damage to the water distribution network, which in turn caused the flooding of various streets, threatening building foundations — to say nothing of wasting water”.
The opposition Aleppo Media Center supports the version of events.
An AMC video with interviews with residents:
At the start of May, insurgents — seeking to press regime forces in the western half of Aleppo — cut off water supplies to Syria’s largest city by stopping the operations of a pumping station.
Tahrir Souri reports on the consequences, with “crowds lining up to fill water in front of mosques, churches, parks, and private wells…to fill up a few litres of water to drink and wash”. The supply is delivered by trucks accompanied by an intelligence officer.
The Facebook page of “Eyewitness Aleppo” claims some trucks are taking water from the sewage-filled Quweiq River.
If residents can get to the water, they have to find the money to pay for it, as the cost has risen sharply.
Bread production has been affected, shutting down bakeries, because of the lack of water to knead dough. The “silver lining” is that meat, rice, and vegetables are cheaper, because of low demand caused by a fear of using water in their preparation.
Even before the insurgent cut-off, water supply had been hampered by regime shelling of pumping stations and water channels.