Experts warn: It is imperative to take action against drought swiftly

Marmara and Aegean regions experienced the driest October in the last five years, while the precipitation rate in some parts of the country has decreased by 80 percent, stated experts, calling for measures against drought.

With the effects of global warming, climate change, pollution, increasing population and extreme temperatures, drought is one of the most essential problems of Turkey as well as in the world. The reasons such as the last autumn months without precipitation and the unconscious use of groundwater brought the dams, which are also the source of drinking water in Turkey, to the point of drying up.

The rainless autumn dried up the water basins in Anatolia, as well as the dams in Istanbul.

According to the data of the Turkish State Meteorological Service, the rainfall in the last one and half months decreased by 38 percent compared to seasonal norm.

The driest October of the last five years was observed in the Marmara and Aegean regions.

In October, precipitation decreased by more than 80 percent in the Aegean Region, the western parts of the Marmara Region, the southern provinces of Hatay, Kilis and Osmaniye and the southeastern provinces of Adıyaman and Şanlıurfa.

Due to the 26 million tons of food wasted annually in the country, 26.6 billion cubic meters of water is wasted at the same time, stated Dursun Yıldız, the head of the Water Policy Association.

Stressing that this ratio is higher than the active storage volume of the Keban Dam, Yıldız said, “The amount of usable water per capita per year in Turkey is 1,400 cubic meters. The total amount of water consumed in the last 20 years increased by 40 percent.”

“We urgently need to implement new plans. One of the possible risks that will arise due to drought will be energy costs,” Yıldız pointed out.

“Today, energy production and water management have become interdependent components. Therefore, dry periods directly affect energy,” he explained.

Providing information about the water problem in Istanbul, Yıldız underlined that the annual average water consumption is over 1 billion cubic meters with 200,000 new water subscribers registering in the city every day.

“The total water capacity of the dams supplying water to Istanbul is 750 million cubic meters. 350 million cubic meters of water deficit is met from Melen and Yeşilçay dams. Melen keeps Istanbul afloat. Rain is our only source.”