By Diyar Guldogan
ANKARA (AA) - Türkiye on Tuesday launched a water efficiency campaign led by first lady Emine Erdogan to tackle the water shortage crisis, which is a global threat.
"Due to the gradual decrease in precipitation and unconscious water consumption, our agricultural lands, wetlands, streams, and underground water resources are being tested by the threat of drought.
"For people, who cannot survive even three days without water, we need to remind ourselves that the fight against drought is actually a struggle for survival. I believe that we will raise hope for a livable future with the water efficiency campaign, which we started with this perspective," Erdogan said at the launching ceremony in the capital Ankara.
The campaign aims to prevent water loss in homes, workplaces and industry, establish legal infrastructure, use modern irrigation methods in agriculture, and raise public awareness in Türkiye, which is experiencing water stress due to climate change.
Erdogan said the world's access to fresh water is less than 1% of total water presence, and while water is the most basic human right, globally, three out of 10 people do not have access to safe water.
She added pollution or inaccessibility of water brings many economic and political problems in the world, such as the risk of food production.
"It is estimated that 700 million people will be displaced by water scarcity in 2030, while humanity is still unable to cope even with the mass migrations triggered by conflicts.
"The alarming situation in the world, unfortunately, does not differ in our country. Türkiye is a water-stressed country with 1,519 cubic meters of usable water per capita per year. It is thought that this amount will decrease to 1,120 cubic meters in 2030 with the increasing population and uncontrolled water use. When it goes below 1,000 cubic meters, we will face water scarcity," she stressed.
If Türkiye does not prevent it, the first lady said, it is estimated that the country's water resources will decrease by 25% in the near future, and in the next eight years, almost half of the population and 78% of irrigated agricultural areas may face the risk of water shortage.
"Let's protect our future together with the belief that 'water is the homeland' and with the spirit of mobilization," Erdogan added.
- 'Measures have to be taken'
Speaking at the same event, Agriculture and Forestry Minister Vahit Kirisci stressed Türkiye is a country that suffers from water stress.
"Unfortunately, our world today, due to global climate change, it is threatened by water scarcity, drought and even desertification. Despite this pessimistic picture, the good news is that if we take the necessary measures, we have the opportunity to reverse or at least mitigate all these negativities," Kirisci said.
For his part, Industry and Technology Minister Mustafa Varank said Türkiye has to act before disasters happen, adding if the right steps are not taken, the period when the need for water shapes all geopolitics and major conflicts will arise because of this.
Environment, Urbanization, and Climate Change Minister Murat Kurum said Türkiye is a country suffering from water shortage.
"In the next 20 years, it is predicted that our country will be among the water-poor countries if no measures are taken," Kurum added.