Drought fuels fears of water shortage in Istanbul

Drought fuels fears of water shortage in Istanbul

ISTANBUL – Anadolu Agency
Drought fuels fears of water shortage in Istanbul

Water has completely run out in some parts of the Alibeyköy reservoir, which is one of the closest water sources to Istanbul's urban center on the European side. DHA photo

Low water levels in Istanbul reservoirs have raised concerns that the city could experience a year of drought as the water level has slipped to 34 percent, almost half of last year’s figure and the lowest in six years.
Istanbul’s water is supplied by 10 reservoirs, Ömerli, Darlık, Elmalı, Terkos, Alibey, Büyükçekmece, Sazlıdere, Istrancalar, Kazandere and Pabuçdere, which together have the capacity to hold 868.6 million cubic meters of water, according to data from the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality and the Istanbul Waterworks Authority (İSKİ).

The water levels in the reservoirs were 91.1 percent in April 2013, but the level has decreased steadily since then.

The forestry minister, however, said that there was no need to worry about the water shortage, saying a new dam project near the city would provide a long-lasting solution.

Forestry and Waterworks Minister Veysel Eroğlu and Istanbul Metropolitan Mayor Kadir Topbaş held a joint conference in Istanbul after meeting over the water supply on Jan. 10.

Eroğlu said there was no need to worry over the water level, noting that construction had started on the Melen Dam project.

Eroğlu said Istanbul experienced a drought every seven years and that 2014 appeared set to be one of those years.

“Istanbul has a drought once 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 our measures and there is no need to worry,” said Eroğlu. 

“We want to have water in the Melen Reservoir despite the drought in two or three years,” Eroğlu added.