In the coming months, all major cities in Turkey will face the danger of water shortages and warned Istanbul that less than 45 days of water remain.
According to the Turkish Association of Chemical Engineers, insufficient rainfall has caused the country’s worst drought in a decade, leaving a large city of 17 million people almost without water. The mayor of Ankara, Mansur Yavaş, stated earlier this month that the capital’s dams and reservoirs are still worth 1
Turkey’s next two largest cities, Izmir and Bursa, are also struggling. Dams account for 36% and 24% of the full water respectively. Wheat-producing areas (such as the Konya Plain and Eddie, which borders Greece and Bulgaria) The farmers in the province of Ernes also struggled. Warns of crop failures.
The rainfall in the second half of 2020 was extremely low, and November was close to 50% year-on-year. This led the Religious Affairs Bureau to instruct Ams and his followers to pray for rain last month.
Turkey is a “water-scarce” country, with only 1,346 cubic meters of water per capita each year. Due to the combined effects of population growth, industrialization, urban expansion and climate change, the country has suffered several droughts since the 1980s.
Dr. Akgün İlhan, a water management expert in Istanbul, said: “Turkey has not focused on measures to control water demand, but insisted on expanding water supply by building more dams… Turkey has built hundreds of dams in the past two decades. “Policy Center.
“Warning signs have existed for decades, but they haven’t actually done much.”
For a long time, Turkey has prioritized economic growth on environmental issues, and is still the only G20 country outside the United States that has ratified the 2015 Paris Agreement.
“Everyone knows that watersheds must be protected, especially for those increasingly severe and prolonged drought events,” said Dr. ÜmitŞahin, who teaches global climate change and environmental politics at Sabancı University in Istanbul.
“For example, in Istanbul, the most important watershed, the last forest and agricultural land, [have been opened] To urban development projects…the new airport, the new Bosphorus Bridge, which connects roads and highways, and the Istanbul Canal Project. These policies cannot solve Turkey’s drought problem. “
Ekrem İmamoğlu, the opposition mayor of Istanbul elected in 2019 despite fierce resistance from Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party, told the Guardian reporter Estantluz What is reassuring is that the huge Melun Dam system will continue to supply the city’s water needs until 2070.
However, when he took office, his government realized that construction problems would delay the project for several years.
The municipality has now urged residents to carefully consider how to save water, including turning off water taps when brushing or shaving, shutting off the valve in the sink, and installing low-usage taps.
“If the dam is active, today’s water will not be a problem. But we must also consider the wide range of climate change issues… If it does not rain in Melun, then the water there will not be available,” İmamoğlu said.
According to Mayor Tunç Soyer, in Izmir, local authorities are responding to water shortages by digging 103 new wells, recovering wastewater and repairing aging pipelines to minimize losses and leakages.
In the end, Turkish cities need a lot of rain immediately so as not to have to allocate water in the next few months-even continuous rain throughout the winter may not be enough for agricultural communities to save this year’s crops.
Ilhan said the drought has created a vicious circle: declining agricultural production and rising food prices may lead to increased poverty and migration from rural to urban areas, exacerbating existing pressures on water infrastructure.
Turkey does have the economic and technical means to repair its damaged water cycle. The missing element is the political will to take these steps. “