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GREEN >Water levels in Turkey’s dams raise alarm

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet

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Water levels in Istanbul's dams have slipped to 30.8 percent of capacity. CİHAN photo

Water levels in Istanbul's dams have slipped to 30.8 percent of capacity. CİHAN photo

The weather will be unseasonably warm this week, while those living in cities fear a drought in the summer with the water level having slipped to 30.8 percent in Istanbul’s dams, while the capital Ankara is not faring much better with 36 percent.

Turkey will be under the effect of warm weather until the end of this week, the general directorate of meteorological service said in a statement. The country, except eastern Anatolia, will experience temperatures between five to 10 degrees above average, while the officials predict the water in the dams will not meet the city’s need for tap water this summer if the weather continues to be warm with no rain on the way.  

The water level in all 10 dams of Istanbul fell to 30.87 percent, according to the data collected by the State Water Affairs (DSİ). The water levels in Istanbul’s 10 dams are as follows: 42.11 percent in Ömerli Dam, 0.18 percent in Pabuçdere Dam, 17.06 percent in Sazlıdere Dam, 29.26 percent in Büyükçekmece Dam, 21.05 percent in Alibey Dam, 40.99 percent in Terkos Dam, 14.84 percent in Kazandere Dam, 6.7 percent in Elmalı Dam, 30.26 percent in Darlık Dam and 12.97 percent in Istrancalar Dam.

Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbaş admitted via his Twitter account Feb. 17 that Istanbul was experiencing a drought.

Forestry and Waterworks Minister Veysel Eroğlu also said 2.5 million cubic meters of water was used in Istanbul daily, but assured that the city would not experience any scarcity in its water supply. 

“There won’t be a lack of water. We will provide water, don’t worry. We have plans A, B and C. We even saved some municipalities under the opposition parties. İzmir [currently run by a municipality from the main opposition Republican People’s Party] would have had a scarcity of water, but we saved them,” said Eroğlu in Tekirdağ. Eroğlu also said rain was coming to Turkey over the weekend and added there would not be any problems with the water supply.

Other metropolitan cities are also facing droughts with low levels of rain and water. The water levels in Ankara’s dams are as follows, according to the DSİ data: 13 percent in Kavşakkaya Dam, 16 percent in Akyar Dam, 31 percent in Eğrekkaya Dam, 32 percent in Çubuk Dam, 36 percent in Çamlıdere Dam and 61 percent in Kurtboğazı Dam. The water level in all of the capital city’s six dams decreased to 36 percent in total.

The water levels are slightly better in İzmir compared to Istanbul, with Balçova Dam at 46.98 percent, Güzelhisar Dam 58.11 percent, Tahtalı Dam 61.49 percent, Ürkmez Dam 61.07 percent and Gördes dam 19.56 percent water level.

Agriculture Minister Mehdi Eker warned last month the country was facing a serious drought.  “Turkey is having a strong meteorological drought, which we are following with concern. We hope, wish and pray this will end in the following weeks,” said Eker.

On Jan. 10, Eroğlu said Istanbul experienced a drought every seven years and 2014 appeared to be one of those years.

“Istanbul has a drought once every seven years. It has a worse drought once every 17 years. There was a drought in 1994 and there will be a drought in 2014. But we are taking measures and there is no need to worry,” said Eroğlu.

February/17/2014

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