Drought Hits Türkiye’s Lake Sapanca: Water Recedes 40m

Via Daily Sabah, a report on the impact of drought on Türkiye’s Lake Sapanca as water recedes by 40 meters

Lake Sapanca, the main drinking water source of Sakarya, has set off alarms in Sakarya and Kocaeli as water levels have receded to 40 meters. The lake, being one of the few lakes in Türkiye that provides drinking water to the two big cities, has been exposed to drought due to low precipitation and increased urbanization.

Climate change has been one of the most important pressing issues affecting the entire world. This is especially true for Türkiye due to its location. The Mediterranean Basin, where Türkiye is located, is getting drier due to the effects of anthropogenic climate change. As a result, average temperatures are slowly creeping up and rainfall getting scarcer, thereby exacerbating the situation.

Droughts have risen in importance on the world agenda and are prompting global steps to fight against rising temperatures and climate change. “In research conducted by the World Resources Institute, it is predicted that all countries will suffer from a shortage of water in 2040 and Türkiye may be among the countries that will suffer the most,” said professor Sevil Veli, head of the Environmental Engineering Department at Kocaeli University.

Lake Sapanca, which is fed by many streams, started sounding alarm bells with the fact that water factories were fed from springs and precipitation was below par. The water, which fell below the critical threshold in Lake Sapanca, receded to about 40 meters from the shore.

The water level in Lake Sapanca, which meets 90% of Sakarya’s drinking water needs and 15% of Kocaeli’s water needs, has been exposed to drought and is receding gradually due to lack of expected precipitation this year and most importantly, the absence of snowfall. The lake has given a breath of fresh air to Kocaeli by supplying 180,000 tons of water per day to Yuvac?k Dam, which regressed to 15%, since November. However, the water level in the lake dropped to a critical threshold of 30.99 and the situation is worrying citizens.

Erdo?an Kaplan, who lives in the E?me neighborhood of Sapanca said, “The reason for this is there is no snow and precipitation. Prompt action needs to be taken. If this continues people will be facing the worst effects of climate change.”

Kaplan stated that the fish lay eggs in the reeds and the drought has affected sea life as well. Consequently, the number of fish is also decreasing. Most families in the vicinity used to earn their livelihood by fishing, but now it has almost come to an end, he lamented.

Muhammet Taha Özbahçeli, who lives in Sakarya and says that he often visits E?me, said: “When I was a child, we used to come here to swim and the water level would reach our waists. Now, it is completely different. It is scary that it is January, but it feels like spring. Rapidly expanding industries and urbanization has destroyed everything, we need to initiate actions to save our future generations.”

This entry was posted on Thursday, January 19th, 2023 at 4:21 am and is filed under Turkey.  You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.  Both comments and pings are currently closed. 

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