Poor irrigation main cause of water loss, data shows
With Turkey battling drought stemming from climate change, official data reveals that about three-quarters of the total water consumed in the country is used for irrigation and that there is a water loss of 35-60 percent due to the surface irrigation method.
Officials in Turkey have raised concerns due to the lack of rainfall since the last summer, which has led to low water levels in dams, saying that there could be a scarcity of drinking water, and agriculture practices could get affected.
According to the data obtained from the Environment and Urbanization Ministry, nearly 74 percent of the total water consumed in the country is used for irrigation and some 35-60 percent water loss occurs in surface irrigation method.
In order to prevent wastage of water, it is recommended to switch to sprinkler or drip irrigation method, which reduces water loss up to 5 percent.
While parks and gardens stand out among the places where water should be saved and used judiciously, experts suggest that for irrigation practices, the morning or afternoon hours should be preferred as the rate of evaporation is low.
According to the Ministry’s data, watering plants in the morning or evening saves up to 112 liters of water each time while cleaning a parking lot with a broom alone instead of using water saves up to 675 liters of water.
Watering a lawn one or two times a week saves 3,780 liters of water, and the sprinkler leakage checks save 2,250 liters of water per month.
Turkish media has reported that farmers had been impacted by the drought with a dramatic reduction in the grain harvest, namely in the central province of Konya, the northwestern province of Edirne and Izmir.
Konya has a vast expanse of farmlands, at around 2.2 million hectares, and about 2.5 million tons of grain are grown every year. Though the province has an arid climate, it has become drier in recent years, partly due to climate change.
[HH] Household water consumption
Meanwhile, the data reveals that some 35 percent of the water consumed in homes is used in bathrooms and nearly 30 percent in toilets, while the proportion of water used for cooking and drinking is only 10 percent.
Since the water storage capacity of the classic reservoir of toilets is 16 liters, a family of four consumes 3,840 liters of water used in toilets per month.
To leave the tap on while brushing teeth is another contributing factor to wasting water.
If the tap is left on while brushing teeth for three minutes a day, an average of 15 liters of water gets wasted.
Washing dishes before putting them in the dishwasher also wastes an average of 27 tons of water per year.