Turkey might face drought in 2020 or 2021, says water affairs minister

Turkey might face drought in 2020 or 2021, says water affairs minister

SAKARYA – Doğan News Agency
Turkey might face drought in 2020 or 2021, says water affairs minister

AA photo

Turkey might suffer a drought in 2020 or 2021, as the country experiences droughts almost every seven years, Forestry and Water Affairs Minister Veysel Eroğlu said on Aug. 7.

“We need to make our calculations based on the periods suffering the most droughts. A drought occurs every seven years; 1994, 2000, 2007 and 2014. More severe droughts might come. Not to leave the metropolises without water, there needs to be a backup of the backup. A drought can happen in 2020 or 2021,” Eroğlu said during a field analysis of the Melen Dam Project construction in the northwestern province of Sakarya’s Kocaali district.  

He said the directorate general for the State Hydraulic Works (DSİ) will accordingly take the necessary precautions against an imminent drought. “We will not make [people] go through a water shortage, we have [never] left them without water, and we will not,” he vowed. 

Saying that the Melen dam’s water capacity is enough to meet the entire city’s long-term demand, Eroğlu vowed the dam would end Turkey’s largest city’s water supply problems. 

“The dam will provide 1.77 billion cubic meters per year. We will guarantee Istanbul’s water supply by 2071… Istanbul’s annual water usage is nearly 1 billion [cubic meters]. This means the Melen dam has the capacity to almost meet the entire water demand of Istanbul,” the minister said. 

The construction of the Melen dam project started in 2014 and is expected to be completed in the next 175 days. 

Speaking about previous debates surrounding the Melen dam project, he said some industrialists and deputies did not want the dam to be constructed. 

“I told them, ‘Melen is Istanbul water’s insurance. If it does exist, there will be no drought. Every seven years, there is a drought, how are you going to provide water? The Melen dam project is an enormous dam… Until 2071, we will guarantee Istanbul’s water supply.’ They ask me, ‘What will happen after 2071?’ I will then leave a letter to the next minister,” he said.