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Water shortage knocks at Turkey's door

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The effects of global climate change will make itself felt this summer in Turkey, in the form of water shortages. Alarm bells are ringing in the country's three-largest cities. Officials, startled by the low level of water resources have been warning the public over the last few days about a possible water shortage crisis. Istanbul, Ankara and İzmir municipalities have been proposing measures to the public that if implemented will relegate activities like watering gardens or washing cars with a hose to the annals of history.

Water levels in dams serving Istanbul indicate supply will last just six more months at current levels, announced officials. Meteorology reports stating that the weather this summer will be warmer than in former years increases the worries. The percentage of water in the dams supplying Istanbul decreased by 47 percent announced the General Directorate of Istanbul Water and Canalization Administration (İSKİ), the Anatolia news agency reported. İSKİ advised people not to waste water suggesting that people close the tap while brushing teeth or shaving, and stop washing cars and carpets with a hose.

People could build cisterns and store rainwater to irrigate their gardens as a means of saving water, the Mayor of Istanbul Kadir Topbaş suggested. Environmentalists meanwhile, warned that long term and serious strategies were necessary to prevent drought.
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