Lakes flowed to Black Sea for third Istanbul airport construction
ISTANBUL – Cihan News Agency
CİHAN PhotoWorks to drain off some 70 lakes in northern Istanbul have begun as part of preparations for the construction of the city’s third airport, which has been severely criticized for its potential environmental impact.
The water of the lakes has started to flow into the Black Sea via canals.
According to the Environmental Impact Assessment (ÇED) submitted for the project, the water holes should be removed from the area where the construction is set to start in June.
Locals living nearby villages have reacted to the works, asking authorities to prevent such a waste by dumping water into the sea while the city is facing an expected water shortage.
Hydrogeology Professor Murat Özler said some of the lakes in the area were formed after rain water filled holes created due to coal mines and stone pits, stressing that the re-use of water depends on its quality.
Lake waters that appeared to be clean in analysis could be transferred to Terkos Lake, he said, adding that water collected in stone pit holes could be recycled more easily because its quality is better than water in coal mine holes.
A maximum of 5 percent of Istanbul’s water need can be met by the large lakes in the area, Özler said.
Meanwhile, the Istanbul Waterworks Authority (İSKİ) said the water in the lakes was not sufficient for use as drinking water.
The start of airport construction has been delayed due to several setbacks, including reported funding struggles for the winning consortium.
Istanbul’s Fourth Administrative Court ordered a stay of the first ÇED report, which was issued by the Environment Ministry on Jan. 21.
The final report was issued on April 22. While the first report stated that there were 70 lakes, small lakes and ponds, the final one defined them as “big and small water holes.”
The natural habitat in the area will be destroyed due to the construction, the report also said.
The third airport will tie into Istanbul’s third bridge, which is also currently under construction.