Connect with us


Türkiye expected to join list of water-poor countries by 2030



Considering the rapid increase in Türkiye’s population and industrial activity, it is estimated that it will transition from a water-stressed to a water-poor country by 2030, as drought is one of the country’s biggest problems today and will continue to impact its future.

Türkiye is located in the Mediterranean basin, one of the regions greatly affected by the climate crisis. In addition, precipitation is expected to decrease by close to 30% by the end of this century. Reduced rainfall will create a significant water shortage for most metropolitan cities. Today, the occupancy rate of the dams in cities such as Istanbul, Izmir and Bursa is at its lowest.

While Türkiye may receive near-normal precipitation next year, precipitation problems may arise in other parts of the world. For example, the state of California in the United States has been struggling with severe drought in recent years. Still, this winter, the state has experienced heavy rainfall. Therefore, experts say we must adjust to these fluctuations and take measurements to avoid possible disasters caused by climate change.

Adaptation measures

Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA), professor Levent Kurnaz, director of Boğaziçi University’s Climate Change and Policy Application and Research Center, said: “We have to take measures to reduce the risk of drought in our country. But unfortunately, almost all of the measures taken or planned to be taken in our country so far are based on the argument that the drought is temporary and that there will be precipitation. But unfortunately, climate change will result in permanent changes in precipitation patterns. For this reason, the measures to be taken must be permanent depending on the changes.”

According to the United Nations projections, urban populations are expected to increase by 2 billion by 2050. However, this increase will not be concentrated in today’s big cities but in medium-sized cities (with a population of 500,000 to 1 million). For this reason, establishing the necessary infrastructure in regions with access to water will reduce the damage caused by climate change and guarantee our future, Kurnaz explained.

“In addition, we should not forget that we use three-quarters of our water in agriculture, and methods such as drip irrigation, which reduce water use in agriculture, need to be implemented nationwide immediately. On the other hand, it is essential for the sustainability of our agricultural output that we become aware that the drought we are facing is not temporary and we must switch to a more drought-resistant agriculture pattern,” he also pointed out.


The region is getting drier with each passing year, gradually revealing external factors that require preparation. Increasing temperatures and decreasing precipitation make food production difficult. However, despite these negative factors, population growth continues unabated.

“The situation in the surrounding countries is more critical than in ours. In contrast, the expected mass loss due to drought and heat waves will result in the migration of many communities in our nearby geography to more favorable areas. The fact that our country is also on these migration routes and that the European Union has closed its borders may expose our country to many climate refugees soon,” Kurnaz added.

The climate crisis is not an issue only one area of ​​expertise can evaluate and prepare for. “Assessing this issue’s many dimensions, from agriculture to foreign policy, water resources to national security, and producing solutions will help us guarantee our future,” he emphasized.


Professor Azize Ayol, a lecturer at Dokuz Eylül University’s (DEÜ) Faculty of Environmental Engineering Department in Izmir, said, “Taking into account the rapid increase in Türkiye’s population and industrial activities, it is estimated that there will be a transition from water-stressed to water-poor for many countries by 2030.”

“According to the world water reports published regularly by the U.N., one-fourth of the world’s population currently has access to healthy water, and world resources should be handled holistically. Therefore, sustainable approaches should be put forward in all activities that may adversely affect all components of the water, air and soil ecosystems,” Ayol said.

Evaluating the drought map data of Türkiye, Ayol stated that “very severe,” “severe” or “moderate” droughts are being recorded across central Anatolia, the Marmara region, southeast Anatolia, as well as near the Black and Aegean seas. In addition, a severe drought has also been noted across most of Izmir.

In particular, developing and implementing technologies to treat wastewater and reuse it is important. Therefore, policy and action plans for scientific and applicable technologies should be given priority based on water resources throughout the country, Ayol said.


Speaking about the most dangerous regions in terms of water resources in Türkiye, Ayol said: “Apart from the striking examples of drought, such as the drying lakes, the unbalanced ecosystem in the Black Sea region and sinkholes in Konya’s plains, due to the lack of sufficient irrigation water in almost all agricultural basins, in some places, our farmers are changing their crop patterns and switching from irrigated farming to water-conscious farming practices.”

The Daily Sabah Newsletter

Keep up to date with what’s happening in Turkey,
it’s region and the world.

You can unsubscribe at any time. By signing up you are agreeing to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.


Source: Daily Sabah

Follow us on Google News to get the latest Updates