Major lagoon in Istanbul needs restoration: Expert
Turkey marked World Water Day on March 22, an occasion that aims to raise awareness about the limited resource as a water-stressed country where the growing threat of global warming and environmental pollution to the ecosystem looms, with events that drew attention to the chronic problem.
In an event held in Istanbul, a prominent academic drew attention to the latest state of Lake Küçükçekmece, a major lagoon located on the far west of the European side of the Turkish metropolis, stressing the need for serious restoration efforts for the lake.
Highlighting that the population around the lake is 1.5 million nowadays while it was only 850 during the 1930s, Professor Meriç Albay underlined that there is a major pressure on the ecosystem and that only a few species diversity remains today.
Emphasizing the urgent need for restoration of the lake, the expert also noted that water management in Turkey should be reconsidered, unnecessary consumption in agriculture should be avoided, and the population in cities and water needs should be evaluated together.
“It should not grow beyond measure. You should be proud of quality, not population,” the academic said.
Stating that industrialization in Istanbul is one of the fundamental causes of pollution and that the method called deep discharge does not work, Meriç noted the marine mucilage seen in the Marmara Sea last year might reappear due to this reason.
Meanwhile, pollution in Lake Küçükçekmece is concerning both authorities and experts, while a piece of good news came about a lake located in the Elmalı district of Antalya, a Mediterranean province in Turkey.
Lake Avlan, once known as a famous wetland in the region but narrowly escaped drought last year due to increasing temperature and lack of rainfall, is now a frequent destination for migratory birds again, including new species.
Hope for the future of the lake was about to fade, but it holds water again thanks to heavy rainfall in recent weeks.
Two bird species, blackhead gull and flamingo, were seen for the first time in the region, along with dozens of bird species, during the birdwatching event held around the lake by professional bird watcher Ömer Harpcı.
Turkey’s lakes and other major water resources tend to decrease or even disappear in recent years, mostly due to global climate change.
As one of the latest disturbing developments, lakes in Turkey’s southwestern province of Konya have almost dried up due to years of low rainfall caused by global warming.
Illegal irrigation also was blamed for the drying up of lakes in the Konya Plain, known as the country’s breadbasket.