Turkey Faces Impending Water Crisis

Turkey is experiencing the driest winter in 22 years and a water crisis is looming in the summer, according to experts.

Even though March 22 is known as World Water Day, many parts of Turkey are experiencing extraordinary drought. With the decrease in winter precipitation, dams have started to dry up.

Former General Directorate of State Hydraulic Works (DSİ) Director and President of the Water Policy Association Dursun Yıldız said that the situation is “as critical as an earthquake” and that the inevitable water crisis of this summer should be addressed urgently as a national security issue.

Yıldız stated that experts have been talking about changing water consumption habits in Istanbul for years, but no one cares.

The European side of Istanbul consumes 2 million cubic meters of the 3.1 million cubic meters of water supplied to Istanbul daily. Thus, the capacity of the dams on the European side is substantially insufficient.

He stressed that carpet and car washes, garden irrigation, ornamental pools for landscaping purposes and pools in housing estates should be deactivated, and a mobilization should be launched to prevent losses and leaks, as soon as possible.

CNN Türk Meteorology Consultant and Istanbul Technical University Faculty Member Prof. Dr. Orhan Şen stated that the rain that will fall until May 15 will not fill the dams, and as of June, a water crisis will start throughout the country.

Türkiye received 24 percent less precipitation in February compared to the average. The highest decrease in precipitation compared to seasonal norms was realized in the northwestern province of Edirne with 93 percent.

February precipitation in the Aegean Region decreased by 84 percent compared to last year, and by 67 percent in the Marmara Region.