The decrease in precipitation in the Marmara region this year resulted in a drop of 38% in the water level in the dams supplying Istanbul.
Professor Hüseyin Toros, a meteorology engineering lecturer at Istanbul Technical University (ITU), said: "In Istanbul and the Marmara region, we have not been able to receive precipitation for a very long time. The water levels in the dams will continue to decline quickly if the drought persists. We must prepare in advance and take action."
The Istanbul Water and Sewerage Administration's (ISKI) data shows that the Marmara region's precipitation increased by 60% in February and declined by 71% in October. As a result, the Marmara region's dams, which have a maximum storage volume of 868.68 million cubic meters, are seeing a drop of 38% and only 335 million cubic meters of water is available now.
Additionally, the Yeşilçay and Melen streams, two sources of water for Istanbul besides dams, provided 273 million cubic meters in the first 10 months of 2022.
Istanbul has never experienced an extended summer this long, according to Toros. "If we run out of water, I wonder, how will we survive? Because we all know is that water is life," he expressed. "Even though there isn't a serious issue right now, precautions must be made," explained Toros.
Erdoğan Öztürk, general manager of the Ankara Water and Sewerage Administration (ASKI), urged people to use water more responsibly due to the 32% occupancy rate of the dams, which equates to 505 million cubic meters of occupancy and 11 dams that supply drinking and utility water to the capital Ankara.
He claimed that Ankara receives roughly 1.4 million cubic meters of water per day. Some 22% of the 32% occupancy volume is actively useable water, according to Öztürk.
Noting that there are intensive studies on water saving, the loss and leakage rates are handled quickly. Besides, purification and repairs are also carried out so the people of Ankara can drink healthy water, Öztürk explained.
Stating that there is water scarcity worldwide due to global warming and this is reflected in Türkiye as well: "Every drop of our water is very precious. Therefore, we need to show earnest compassion for water and not use it with contempt."