Alarm bells ringing for protected lake in Turkey’s northwest
Lake Uluabat, one of the 14 wetlands in Turkey mentioned in the Ramsar Convention, is about to become a “dead pond” due to pollution from manure and industrial wastes.
Apart from the increase in the temperature and drought caused by global climate change among the contributing factors for the lake in the northwestern province of Bursa to dry out, excessive water consumption has also become one of the grave concerns.
Concerns have grown in the recent weeks as the lake fed by Mustafakemalpaşa Stream - polluted by domestic, industrial and agricultural wastes - has turned green due to the algal bloom.
Speaking to daily Milliyet, Biologist Nurhayat Dalkıran stated that the nitrogen and phosphorus input to Lake Uluabat is high, which causes algae to multiply.
Noting that the facilities in the region only carry out chemical treatment, but advanced biological treatment is needed, Dalkıran said that mass fish deaths were likely to be seen in the lake in the coming days in the absence of necessary precautions.
“Regular water quality tests should be carried out and serious measures should be taken,” she added.
Ertuğrul Aksoy, an academic from Uludağ University in Bursa, said that water withdrawals continue during the summer period when the lake needs water the most, noting that this practice should be stopped.
“The depth in Uluabat, which is already a shallow lake, has dropped below 1 meter. Industrial and household wastes continue to be disposed of into the lake,” Aksoy said.
He also noted that the increase in phosphorus and nitrogen content and decrease in water level not only disrupt the natural system but also cause serious risks and pollution.