With Türkiye facing blazing temperatures fueled by El Nino, an expert has expressed concerns over the amount of water lost by evaporation from Istanbul dams, as the Ömerli Dam is losing alarming 17,000 tons of water with each passing hour.
As of July 13, the water levels in the dams that meet the city’s water needs stood at 41.89 percent, according to reports. They were at 71.5 percent on the same date last year.
Prof. Dr. Levent Kurnaz, director of Boğaziçi University Climate Change Research Center, stated that the evaporation of the dam waters depends on how much moisture is in the air, the weather temperature, and the speed of the wind.
The amount of water evaporating per hour in Ömerli Dam will double to 34,000 tons towards the end of the week as temperatures rise, Kurnaz noted. “A significant portion of the water coming to the dams in Istanbul comes from Melen Stream. As long as there is water in Melen, Istanbul will not suffer from drought for a very long time. But still, we need to use our water as carefully as possible.”
While commenting on the pollution seen in dams, Kurnaz explained that with the ongoing extreme temperatures, the rate of evaporation at the dams is increasing and that the pollution at the bottom will get more noticeable as the water gets shallow, yet it does not pose a threat to the public.
“Istanbul Water and Sewage Administration [İSKİ] takes water from the dams and analyzes it. If nothing harmful is seen, they give this water to the city. Therefore, there is nothing to worry about on this issue. A significant majority of Istanbul already uses bottled water for drinking.”
“Hopefully, with a little more precipitation, the pollution in the waters will decrease. It would be better for the waters to be purified in natural ways, as we are currently cleaning our water with the help of chemicals.”