Istanbul, Turkey’s most populated city, may face a water shortage soon, experts warn.
Water levels in Istanbul's dams dropped to 43.51% on Oct. 23 and a predicted lack of precipitation in the coming months may force it to adopt water-saving measures. The city has faced a dry spell, despite some unprecedented rainfall earlier in the season.
Adil Tek, the head of the Meteorology Lab at Kandilli Observatory, says there may another dry spell ahead. “As far as the current water data is concerned, this dry period may affect Istanbul's water supply. The current water levels decrease by 1% every four days. Without rainfall in the coming days and months, Istanbul has a water supply capacity for only 176 days. It would be good if took water-saving measure,” he told Demirören News Agency (DHA).
Tek added that rainfall has decreased in the past months and dropped below average. “For instance, the average rainfall in September, which is normally at 68 kilograms per square meter, dropped to just 7 kilograms. In October the average rainfall went down from the usual 60 kilograms per square meter to just 40 kilograms," he said.
"We have a normal rainfall forecast up until April but looking into the six months data, the rainfall will likely be below average,” he warned.
He added that they expected “a cool but dry winter.” “We need to save water. Water problems might be a major issue next summer,” Tek said.
Data from the Istanbul Water and Sewerage Administration (İSKİ) shows that the Elmalı Dam on Istanbul’s Asian side had the highest water level among the city's 10 dams, at 69.85%. Water levels in other dams fluctuate around 50%.