Two Istanbul reservoirs close to drying out
The Papuçdere reservoir in Istanbul’s western district of Büyükçekmece only has 0.55 percent of its water left according to figures provided by Istanbul’s Waterworks Authority (İSKİ).New pictures have shown how two of the reservoirs supplying Istanbul’s water needs have nearly dried, as water levels in Turkey’s largest city hit a new record low.
Both reservoirs have become a pasture-ground for shepherds to herd their animals and the water at Büyükçekmece Lake, which is one of the main freshwater lakes near Istanbul where many locals go to fish, has receded by almost one kilometer.
Experts have warned that Istanbul has only 50 days of water left if there is no significant precipitation. According to İSKİ, Istanbul’s 10 reservoirs are currently at 16.31 percent capacity, compared to the 64.32 percent in August of last year. However, authorities have played down the risks, saying they would transport water from the Melen River, located 100 kilometers east of Istanbul, if an emergency arises.
But Agriculture Minister Mehdi Ekere admitted Turkey was experiencing a “strong meteorological drought,” expressing concerns about global warming.
During the past few months, Istanbul had been hit by torrential rains as a consequence of warm and humid weather akin to subtropical climates.