Lake that once source of life now faces drought

Lake that once source of life now faces drought

Lake that once source of life now faces drought

Lake Beyşehir, a tectonic freshwater lake in Turkey’s southwestern province of Konya, faces the danger of drought due to years of low rainfall and misuse of its water for agricultural purposes.

The lake, once known as the “sea of Konya” due to its water depth and considered the source of life for Turkey’s breadbasket Konya Plain, is now on the verge of drying up.

Global climate change is the main culprit behind the drought that has hit the already arid region particularly hard. But that is not all. The fact that the lake meets the irrigation needs of the fields on the Konya Plain and the amount of precipitation is decreasing in the region every year are the other important factors contributing to the drying process.

The region received an average of 80 millimeters of precipitation per square meter in 2019, but this figure has now decreased to 30 millimeters.

Illegal irrigation was also blamed by experts for the drying up of other lakes near Konya Plain, such as Lake Akşehir, Lake Meke and Lake Eber.

Pointing out that the State Hydraulic Works (DSİ) draws water from the lake despite the fact that the lake is not sufficiently fed, Beyşehir Mayor Adil Bayındır suggested developing another irrigation policy.

“Water should be brought to Lake Beyşehir with collectors, its sources should not be interrupted and groundwater should not be drawn,” Bayındır said, noting that the drought leaves irreversible traces on the economy, tourism, climate and nature of the region.