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Turkey has to be on the high alert to preserve its sources of potable water and encourage people to save water before the reservoirs dry out, a local agriculture union warned on Sunday. Sunday’s written statement over potential water shortage risks for Turkey from the Turkish Union of Agricultural Chambers (TZOB)oincides with World Water Day on March 22.

Water reservoir volumes have reached critical low levels across Turkey due to the lack of precipi

Turkey has to be on the high alert to preserve its sources of potable water and encourage people to save water before the reservoirs dry out, a local agriculture union warned on Sunday.

Sundayand#39s written statement over potential water shortage risks for Turkey from the Turkish Union of Agricultural Chambers (TZOB)oincides with World Water Day on March 22.

Water reservoir volumes have reached critical low levels across Turkey due to the lack of precipitation last year, causing great concerns about a prolonged water shortage crisis. andldquoContrary to popular belief, Turkey is not a water-rich country and substantial moves need to be made for the protection of Turkeyand#39s water sources,andrdquo the TZOB urged in its statement on Sunday.

The union said that according to global standards, countries with an annual per capita usable water supply of 1,000 cubic meters or less are considered water-poor while those that have between 1,000 and 2,000 cubic meters are considered to be suffering from a water shortage.

According to the Turkish Statistics Institute (TurkStat), Turkeyand#39s population is expected to reach 100 million by 2030.

Considering this potential population number, the annual amount of usable water per person is estimated to be 1,120 cubic meters per year in Turkey by 2030. The TZOB said only countries that can provide more than 8,000 cubic meters per capita in a year can be considered water-rich, and that Turkey is not in this league.

According to a report provided by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) last year, Turkey is not a water-rich country, and has an annual per capita water supply of only 1,430 cubic meters. According to the report, the countryand#39s water resources will be used to full capacity by the year 2030.

The same report says Turkey will face irredeemable water shortages, especially after 2050, if it continues to consume from its available water sources at its current speed.

h2 Food security threatenedh2 Water demand in Turkey nearly doubled in the second half of the 20th century, and overall water demand accelerated at a greater pace than ever between the years 2000 and 2014.

More than 70 percent of the water supply in Turkey is used for agricultural irrigation, and the remainder is used for drinking, domestic and industrial use, State Waterworks Authority (DSI) figures show.

The TZOB statement said on Sunday that rapid industrialization has brought about the contamination of water sources in different parts of Turkey, and this has aerse effects on agricultural irrigation and thus food security.

Drought in the east and southeast threaten reservoirs in a crucial area, as many of Turkeyand#39s main hydroelectric plants are located in those regions, generating power from dams built around the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.

The TZOB says the government should concentrate on developing effective and technological means of irrigation.

The lack of water has economic costs and causes deep concerns among agricultural producers, the union adds. Drought, which dealt a big blow to the supply of food products last summer, brought about an increase in the prices of almost all food products and triggered a hike in inflation rates in the following months in Turkey.

Water loss rates in Turkey are much higher than those in developed countries, which spend millions of dollars on projects to reduce water loss every year, earlier reports show. The situation has deteriorated this year in particular, and Istanbul has been experiencing periodic water cuts since June.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman