Expert warns of looming drought risk for Lake Arin
With Lake Arin in Türkiye’s east gradually shrinking, an expert has pointed to the unconscious use of groundwater as the cause behind some sources of the lake drying out.
With the increase in evaporation due to temperature and the decrease in precipitation, serious water losses are experienced in Lake Arin in the eastern province of Bitlis’ Adilcevaz district.
The lake, which also meets the water needs of the Gülistan Plain with an area of 250,000 acres, is getting smaller day by day.
Drawing attention to the unconscious use of groundwater, as well as the evaporation and lack of precipitation, Necmettin Elmastaş, a professor from Bitlis Eren University, said, “The groundwater level has started to decrease as many people use boreholes in agricultural areas.”
“With this level falling, some water sources have also come to the point of drying out,” he added.
Noting that the water level in the region has decreased visibly compared to previous years, he called the farmers to be aware of the issue.
“Farmers here should switch to drip irrigation system as soon as possible. Otherwise, this natural beauty, one of the habitats of flamingos and migratory birds, will be in danger of extinction.”
“There has been a serious drought in the lake, especially in the last two years,” Elmastaş said, adding that this drought brings a risk to the areas where migratory birds live. “We see that some species are no longer able to live here.”
According to locals, Lake Van is the first stop of flamingos migrating from Iran. Then they visit and settle in Lake Arin, making a second stop.
The lake has recently become the new attraction point for birdwatchers and photography enthusiasts as it hosts flamingos during this time of the year.
The area of the soda lake is about 13 kilometers long, with a surface elevation of 1,650 meters.
Apart from flamingos, gadwalls, red-crested pochards, and ruddy ducks are among the bird species coming to the lake.