“Waterless days await Istanbul, measures must be taken”

Dam occupancy rates fell below 20 per cent in Istanbul. Researching the drought we are experiencing with the effect of climate change at its source, academic member of Istanbul University Faculty of Letters Department of Geography, and President of Turkish Geography Institute Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ahmet Ertek and geomorphologist Dr. Hakan Kaya from Istanbul University Marine Sciences and Management Institute documented the drought by visiting the dams of the city. 

Controlling the sources of Büyükçekmece, Kurtdoğmuş, Ömerli, Sazlıdere and Terkos, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ahmet Ertek said that if water consumption is not limited and evaporation continues at this speed, troubled days await Istanbul, stating that withdrawals up to 150 meters have been detected in the reservoirs. 

“Waterless days await Istanbul, measures must be taken” 

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ertek said: “The dam occupancy rates, which was 80 percent in 2018, dropped to 20 percent. Not only in Istanbul, but also Kazandere, Pabuçdere and Istranca dams outside Istanbul, which supply water to the city, are about to dry up. If the rainfall does not exceed the seasonal normals, if there is no limitation on water consumption, and the evaporation due to temperature continues at this rate, waterless days await Istanbul. We saw the decrease in water resources. Planning should be made for water consumption without wasting time. In fact, measures like the restrictions in the coronavirus pandemic should be taken. Otherwise, the summer of 2021 might be summer without water. The decrease in hygiene together with thirst may cause the pandemic to end late in our country.” 

Pointing out that the increase in temperature and decrease in rainfall in recent years directly affects the living conditions of human beings, Ertek continued his words: “The increase in unhealthy cities and industrialization with construction, concreting with mega projects and vertical buildings, the increase of flue gases, the increase in the population while the forest and green areas are decreasing, the increasing demand for clean water, the misuse of water and the stepping of the forests multiply the severity of drought in Istanbul. Increasing drought with global warming will be a severe problem for the world in the future. According to the 7-year period, 2000 - 2007 - 2014 - 2021 have been supposed to be dry in Istanbul. Periods of 7 years based on the explosions and sunspots in the sun determined this. Night temperatures tend to increase in Turkey. “ 

“Agricultural activity planning for 2021 and 2022 should be done already” 

Cracked soils and tree trunks emerged after the drained waters of the Sazlıdere Dam. It was also seen that the birds were looking for food in the waterless dam. 

Dr. Hakan Kaya said “With the meteorological drought, groundwater levels will decrease, and water levels in lakes and dams will drop rapidly. Thus, hydrological drought will begin” and continued, “We saw that there may be serious problems in agricultural and economic fields due to drought in the places we visited. Agricultural activity planning for 2021 and 2022 should be done already. If there is not enough rainfall, the remaining water will evaporate rapidly in spring and summer. The moisture in the soil will decrease, and the agricultural drought, the most insidious of natural disasters, will begin. We saw that Istanbul dam lakes were drawn 100 - 150 meters horizontally and 3 - 5 meters vertically with the difference in slope. Studies for the correct use of water should be accelerated. Savings should be made on water used in agriculture and industry, and groundwater should be profited if necessary. It should be thought that drought may increase in the future, and efforts should be accelerated for the recycling of wastewater and the refining of sea waters.”