Turkey’s biggest lake under risk due to drought: Experts

Turkey’s biggest lake under risk due to drought: Experts

Turkey’s biggest lake under risk due to drought: Experts

Drought caused by climate change and the decrease in precipitation have affected the basin of Lake Van, the water sources, agriculture and animal husbandry in the region, experts have warned.

“Heat rose, while precipitation decreased in the last decade,” Faruk Alaeddinoğlu, a professor from Van Yüzüncü Yıl University, told state-run Anadolu Agency.

According to Alaeddinoğlu, high temperatures cause vaporization and “the rate of vaporization is four times higher than the precipitation in the region.”

“Therefore, the sea levels in the lakes have been falling, leading to a serious loss of water in the basin.”

Noting that drought is not only a problem impacting only Turkey, but also the world, Alaeddinoğlu stressed that stringent measures need to be taken.

Murat Tunçtürk, the dean of the agricultural faculty of the same university, also said special attention should be paid to the consumption of water.

“According to this year’s climate data, the precipitation received by the Lake Van basin dropped by 12 percent when compared to the previous year and by 33 percent when compared to the average of many years,” he said.

“The plants of the wheat and barley fields are not growing taller or do not have enough grains in them,” he added.

“What we, as individuals, have to do is, save on water,” Tunçtürk suggested.

The academic also stressed on the financial impacts of the drought on the region.

The loss of crops will have a negative impact on the economy, according to Tunçtürk.

“Costs will increase in animal husbandry and agriculture. It will lead to an increase in food prices. Farmers should pick plants that are resistant towards water shortage,” he added.

[HH] ‘No worries’

Separately, Bekir Pakdemirli, the country’s agriculture and forestry minister said that Turkey had taken all necessary measures related to the drought and there will be no problem in the future.

Speaking at the 1st Farmer’s Summit, Pakdemirli recalled that farmers have been excluded from lockdowns and travel bans during the pandemic period to protect agricultural production.

Noting that the volume of precipitation has decreased 25 percent in 2021 compared with last year, he said there has been a slight effect on the agricultural sector but the problem is manageable

“With Turkey’s production, the Turkish Grain Board, the stocks of the market and the foreign trade measures we have taken, Turkey will not experience any shortcomings in food supply,” he underlined.

Noting that the country may experience this drought continuously, Pakdemirli said the most important measure against this situation is investing in irrigation systems.