Istanbul, drought in dams

Istanbul ask citizens to save water to face drought

Drought in Turkey has brought some swamps that supply water to Istanbul to below 20%, worrying experts.

Istanbul authorities have asked its citizens to take action and change their habits to save as much water as possible, due to the drought in Turkey that has brought reservoirs to record low levels for this time of year.

The Istanbul Water and Sewerage Office (İSKİ) has issued a series of recommendations for the population of Istanbul, reminding that water can be saved when washing dishes or taking a shower, and that it is important to control possible water leaks. For example, keeping the tap running while washing your hands causes 75% of the water to be lost, while just reducing shower time by 1 minute can save 18 tons of water per year.

The Water Office also points out that using a dishwasher instead of washing dishes by hand saves 110 liters of water for each wash; however, it emphasizes that 70% of water waste at home occurs in the bathroom and WC.

“Just fixing leaky taps saves an average of 6 tons of water each year,” it says, while simple measures like slightly turning off tap valves can save up to 50% of water. İSKİ also indicates that a leaking toilet can waste up to 700 liters of water per day.

Istanbul only has water reserves for 3 months

Other measures recommended by the Water Office include washing fruits and vegetables in a bowl instead of letting tap water run, and also asks citizens to report any water leaks they observe in public fountains.

The drought suffered by Turkey has set off alarms throughout the country, due to a winter with much less snow than normal. The level of the dams that supply drinking water to Istanbul has dropped by 33%, and reservoirs such as Alibeyköy, north of Istanbul, are at only 18.29% of their capacity, the lowest level in the last decade. It is estimated that the current water reserves will only be able to supply the city with water for 3 and a half months.