İstanbul faces serious drought, water shortages likely
The water reservoirs that supply İstanbul with water are only 28 percent full and residents should start using water sparingly, Forestry and Water Affairs Minister Veysel Eroğlu has said, contradicting a statement in February in which it was claimed that the city would not face water shortages in the near future.

Speaking at the 3rd International İstanbul Water Forum at the Haliç Congress Center on Tuesday, Eroğlu called on the city's residents to cut down on water usage. "Water consumption has increased greatly in İstanbul. A total of 2,650,000 cubic meters of water daily. We are facing a serious drought this year. Rainfall has dropped by about 27.5 percent, but we can overcome the water shortage with our citizens' help."

Eroğlu's words are in stark contrast to an earlier statement from February that the ministry had solved İstanbul's water concerns and that the city would not face water shortages before 2050.

However, on Tuesday the minister recalled the Prophet Muhammad's recommendation that water should not be used wastefully, even when one is performing ablutions next to a river.

Eroğlu said the water level in the reservoirs that supply İstanbul with water is at 28 percent, adding that he had recently spoken with Mayor Kadir Topbaş about measures the city will take. The current water level is the lowest measured in the city's reservoirs in the last decade. In 2008, when the city faced a serious water shortage due to a drought, the water level was at 40 percent.

In a recent statement, State Waterworks Authority (DSİ) General Manager Akif Özkaldı confirmed that trouble is ahead. "We're facing a drought this year, this is true. We only have enough water to last İstanbul for 100 to 110 days."

(Cihan/Today's Zaman) CİHAN
Last Modified: 2014-05-28 17:00:03
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