Istanbul, Ankara water supplies drop to critical levels

(Re-leads with information on Ankara)

Dams supplying water to Turkish capital Ankara and the country’s most populous city of Istanbul are holding critically low levels of water, according to water authorities.

Istanbul dams have hit their lowest water level in 15 years, at 19.79 percent,Ihlas news agency reported on Tuesday.

Dams and ponds that supply water for the megacity of some 15 million, which have the reservoir capacity of 868.6 million cubic meters of water, are currently at the level of 166 million cubic meters, the agency said, noting the critically low levels of water are triggering drought concerns.

The water levels of the city’s Sazlıdere dam measures at 5.33, while this figure is 16.87 percent Ömerli and 46.46 percent at the Darlık damn, it said, citing data from the Istanbul Water and Sewerage Administration (İSKİ).

The city’s dams were recorded as being 35.50 percent full in 2019.

The current levels are dangerously low for the megacity, which consumes an average of 2.8 million cubic meters of water a day, experts said.

Just last month, İSKİ announced that the water levels in the city's dams had declined to 21.78 percent as the city’s mayor, Ekrem İmamoğlu, urged residents to save water.

In 2019, Istanbul’s dams were recorded as being 35.50 percent full.

Meanwhile, Ankara mayor Mansur Yavaş on Tuesday announced that the water levels of the city had reached as low as 20 percent, citing the Ankara Waterand Sewerage Administration (ASKİ).

"We only have 110 days worth of water,’’ Yavaş said on Twitter, saying they would be proposing an incremental water billing system in the capital in a bid to prevent high water consumption.