What are you looking for?


Water supply in Istanbul dams surpasses 32%

Water supply in Istanbul dams surpasses 32%

The problem of water scarcity in Istanbul has diminished slightly with dam supplies recently surpassing 32%, data from the Istanbul Water and Sewerage Administration (ISKI) showed Sunday.

Demirören News Agency (DHA) said in a report that previously dry areas in Ömerli Dam have started to fill up with water, according to recent aerial photographs of the dam.

Due to drought, water levels in Istanbul dams dropped to just over 19% two weeks ago, while recent rainfall and melting snow helped push the levels back to over 32%, indicating an increase of 13.2%. The city’s Istrancalar Dam registered the greatest increase, surpassing 55.1% in supply, while Sazlıdere Dam saw the lowest supply figure with 12.7%.

Meanwhile, Istanbul is expecting more snow next week, which is set to contribute to water levels even more.

Dams and ponds catering to the water needs of more than 15 million people in the city have a capacity of accumulating 868.6 million cubic meters (30.67 million cubic feet) of water, and currently, the accumulated water is somewhere around 166 million cubic meters. It is at a dangerous level for a city where an average of 2.8 million cubic meters of water is consumed daily in winter.

Water scarcity forces the transmission of water from far-flung sources. In 2020, the city’s water supplies largely relied on Yeşilçay and Melen, two rivers east of Istanbul. Though authorities have assuaged concerns for any disruption to the water grid, data from past years indicates an imminent crisis. On Jan. 4, 2020, for instance, the water level in the dams was at 39.02% and on the same date in 2019, it was 83.25%.