This was announced by head of the Donetsk military and regional state administration Pavlo Zhebrivskyi, Censor.NET reports citing Ukrinform.
"The water rates were increased three times on the territories controlled by the Ukrainian government (since 2014). Unfortunately, they have not been raised on the occupied territories, but they haven't paid even at the low rate.
"We estimate the debt of that territory at about 1,6 billion hryvnia that they owe to Voda Donbasu at those miserable rates," the governor said.
Zhebrivskyi added that the process needs to be coordinated "so that Russia, I beg your pardon, paid for all of that."
For technical reasons, the Donetsk region is not able to stop delivering water to the occupied areas like the Luhansk region did.
"We cannot do here as in the Luhanks region because the water is delivered from controlled areas to non-controlled and then back to controlled areas. We cannot leave ourselves without water," the head of the administration said.
He said the debts to Voda Donbasu company have reached more than 4 billion hryvnia, 40 percent of which is owed by occupied areas.
"The position of the Cabinet of Ministers is very important here, we would need to clear it up financially."
Zhebrivskyi said that water is the most vulnerable point in the Donbas.
"The water is lacking in Mariupol, Pokrovske, Kostiantynivka, Toretsk. We estimate that we need some 3.5 billion hryvnia of investment into updating the major water pipelines in the Donetsk region, and at least two or even three hours of work," the governor of the Donetsk region said.
Related materials: Occupied territories - Crimea and Donbas