A Fourth Estate® Service

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Istanbul Could Run Out of Water in 45 Days, Group Warns

The Turkish Chamber of Chemical Engineers has warned that Istanbul could run out of water in 45 days as Turkey faces a severe drought brought by low level of rainfall.

The Turkish Chamber of Chemical Engineers has warned that Istanbul could run out of water in 45 days as Turkey faces a severe drought brought by low level of rainfall.

According to the chamber, Turkey suffers its worst drought in a decade, placing its largest city close to running out of water supplies even with the reduced demand in winter.

“Istanbul’s water administrators must immediately decide on at least one of the options, such as water cuts or even rain bombs,” Ali Ugurlu, head of the chamber, said in a statement this month.

Istanbul authorities described the water shortage situation as “dangerous” and warned this week that the water reservoirs have dropped to their lowest in the last 15 years.

According to the Istanbul Water and Sewerage Administration, the water reservoirs in the city are below 20% capacity on average. Last year, the water levels were nearly at 40%, almost half a drop from the previous year that had over 80% capacity.

Last month, Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu called for patience and urged citizens “to be more cautious while using water, not to use it in excessive amounts.”

With a population of 15 million, Istanbul consumes 3 million cubic meters of water on average each day.

Meanwhile, the whole country only has 1,346 cubic meters of water per capita per year and has faced several droughts due to climate change, population growth, and industrialization. In the second half of 2020, Turkey recorded a critically low level of rainfall.

Meanwhile, in the capital, Mayor Mansur Yavas said last Jan. 5 that the water in the dams and reservoirs of Ankara is enough for only 110 days.

Yavas also said that the authorities in the capital started charging large water consumers at a higher rate to encourage water conservation.

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