Due to light rains and a long period of drought, large cities across Turkey are threatened by water shortages within the next few months. Istanbul has water left in less than 45 days.
The Mayor of Ankara Mansur Yavas said earlier this month that the capital of Turkey has in dams and reservoirs of water for only 110 days.
Izmir and Bursa, Turkey’s next two largest cities, are also battling water shortages, and farmers in wheat-producing areas are warning of a possible crop failure.
Record low rainfall
In the second half of 2020, Turkey had a record low rainfall, and the Directorate for Religious Affairs last month asked religious leaders to pray for rain, writes The Guardian.
Turkey has long given priority to economic growth over environmental concerns and remains the only G20 country, other than the United States, that has not yet ratified the 2015 Paris Agreement.
Basin areas are turning into urban ones
– Everyone knows that water basins must be preserved, especially because of such drought episodes that are becoming more serious and long-lasting. But in Istanbul, major catchment areas, such as some remaining forests and agricultural land, are being turned into urban areas.
A new airport, a new bridge, new busy roads and highways, none of this will solve the drought problem in Turkey, said Umit Sahin, who teaches climate change and environmental policy at Istanbul’s Sabanci University.
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