Activists to organize ‘water fast’ to raise awareness for vanishing lake
According to activists and experts, Lake Burdur will completely dry out in a mere 20 years if it continues to be used at the current rate. DHA PhotoA group of activists are organizing events in order to raise public awareness about the ecological problems affecting Lake Burdur, which is evaporating at an unprecedented rate.
As part of an international “mourning for the lake” event, activists will also stop using water for a day on Sept. 27 in an act that aims to raise awareness regarding the impact that drought can have on communities.
The coordinator of the event, Öztürk Sarıca, said “water fasting” not only meant not drinking water, but also not using it in the fields, in the kitchen and even in the bathroom.
“Even if it is for just one hour or for 24 hours, [we should] experience what being without water really means,” Sarıca said, inviting people in Turkey to join their day of fasting.
Located in the Taurus Mountains in southern Turkey, Lake Burdur has lost a third of its waters in the last 35 years, while it is estimated that an average of 330 million tons of the lakes water either evaporates or is used in fields each year. According to the Nature Association, the lake has lost 80 percent of the sources feeding its waters in the last decade. Once Turkey’s seventh largest lake, experts say Lake Burdur will completely dry out in a mere 20 years if it continues to be used at the current rate.
Sarıca has explained that agriculture and stockbreeding in the region should be redefined in accordance with the ecological needs of the lake.
“For instance, stockbreeders usually pump underground water for their animals and this leads to a loss of water [for the lake]. So stockbreeding should be practiced more consciously and in areas that are more favorable,” Sarıca said.
Adding that many activities were planned in two day events on Sept. 27 and 28, Sarıca said it would be a festivity that intends to mourn the lake. “Because you cannot celebrate a drying lake, you can only mourn it. We aim to bring about a collective awaking that not only passes beyond the boundaries of the city, but also the country,” he said.
Two stage artists had recently performed a special choreography inside the lakes waters in order to attract public attention.
Similar cases are increasing across the country, as experts recently reported that Lake Meke in the Central Anatolian province of Konya had lost 99 percent of its water.
Dozens of streams in the country have also become threatened due to the unplanned construction of hydroelectric plants (HES).