No problems in water supply due to coronavirus, government says

Turkey’s agriculture and forestry minister has denied the news that water supplies were at critical levels due to increased consumption during quarantine.

Turkey‘s Minister of Agriculture and Forests, Bekir Pakdemirli, denied on Tuesday the information that appeared the previous day in various media outlets in the country, claiming that the levels of the dams were reaching a critical point threatening the water supply itself, as a consequence of the quarantine caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Turkish media reported on Monday that home confinement and hygiene measures to deal with COVID-19 had caused household water consumption to skyrocket, in turn causing a dramatic drop in water levels in all dams across the country.

However, Pakdemirli said on Tuesday that water is guaranteed and that supply problems are not expected in the near future: “As of today there are 575 million cubic meters of water in the dams that supply water to Istanbul. Even without rain, those water levels would last seven months,” he explained.

The minister added that Ankara also has sufficient water reserves for 10 months, and that there are no large variations or supply problems in the dams of the rest of the country. However, Pakdemirli did want to appeal to citizens not to waste water, despite the fact that they must exercise extreme hygiene these days.

“Although saving water may be put aside during the pandemic (due to coronavirus), that does not mean that we should waste water unnecessarily. Turkey is not a water-rich country. Our water reserves are limited, and we should use water with awareness of it,” said the minister.