World Wildlife Fund Sounds Alarm on Turkey Water Shortages

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Ten provinces in Turkey, including Istanbul and Ankara, have been declared water-scarce by the World Wildlife Fund, which decried a lack of official planning.

The non-governmental organization sounded the alarm following a five-year global analysis using data sets including climate change, water regulation and governance, said Stuart Orr, head of WWF’s Global Freshwater Program, in a video news conference. India and other parts of South Asia are also at risk, he said.

“Cities run out of water, not because of climate change, but they run out of water because they have no plan,” Orr said. Main causes of water scarcity are usually failure to fix leakages and improve irrigation systems, lack of demand management and improper allocation of water, he said.

Five years ago WWF identified these provinces as having the potential to encounter serious water supply issues, and now “it’s becoming true,” Orr said.

Istanbul is Turkey’s commercial hub and largest city, while Ankara is the country’s capital.

Turkey’s overall water-scarcity risk of 2.78 compares with 3.67 for Palestine, which has the biggest risk in the world, and with Norway’s 1.54, the lowest in the world, according to the WWF.

Annual water consumption will probably drop to 1,120 liters annually in 2030 from a current 1,519 as the population grows to 100 million from 83 million, the WWF predicted. The cutoff for water scarcity is considered 1,700 liters, said Ugur Bayar, head of WWF’s Turkey unit, in the video conference.

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