With Istanbul grappling with a worsening water crisis due to drought, the water levels in three out of the ten dams supplying water to the country’s largest city have plummeted dangerously, falling nearly 3 percent, according to data from the Istanbul Water and Sewerage Administration (İSKİ).
Experiencing one of the most severe droughts in recent years, the city has seen below-average rainfall and above-average temperatures, causing some of the dams that provide water to the city to completely dry up.
In Sazlıdere Dam, the water level has dwindled to 2.77 percent and in Pabuçdere Dam, this figure has fallen to 3.45 percent. The most profoundly affected dam by the drought, Büyükçekmece Dam, has witnessed a plummet from 46.64 percent to a mere 3.97 percent water capacity during the same period, marking the lowest recorded level in the past 11 years.
Notably, in Büyükçekmece Lake, areas that were once filled with water now exhibit signs of receding water as cracked earth is a stark testament to the effects of the drought. Aerial images captured by drones showcasing the dams’ current state depict a visible decrease in water level, raising concerns among authorities and the public.
İsmail Aydın, a high-ranking official from İSKİ noted that they temporarily halted water extraction from Büyükçekmece Dam in the past weeks, acknowledging a more significant and serious problem being encountered with the dam supplying the European side of the city.
“We are continuing to draw water from Terkos and Sazlıdere Dams. The water level in Büyükçekmece Dam has dropped significantly, so we have decided to temporarily pause extraction from it. We are continuing to draw water from the dams while carefully monitoring water quality,” he explained.
In September, Dursun Yıldız, head of the Water Policies Association, noted that local authorities prepared to draw water from the bottoms of the dams in response to a possible continuation of drought in Istanbul in the autumn and winter.
“The European side of Istanbul has been experiencing a prolonged period of drought since last year. Meteorological drought has transitioned into a hydrological one. The dams that supply water to the European side have emptied. In the absence of precipitation, preparations are underway to extract water from the lower, what we refer to as ‘dead volume,’ of these dams to extend the utility of the dwindling water reserves,” he remarked.
Source: Hurriyet Daily News