• Basin based water potential (billion m³)

    16 Billion m² . . Water potential (SHW 2006) Water potential (ECHAM5 2041-2070) Water potential (ECHAM5 2071-2099)

Water Resources

The useable water in Turkey is about 112 billion m³ per year (SHW, 2006). Currently, we only use 40% of this amount (i.e., 44 billion m³). Most of this water in Turkey is used for agricultural irrigation (33 billion)

Turkey is classified as a “water stressed” country because the amount of water per capita is about 1,500 m³, which is quite low compared to many European countries. Even without consideration of the impacts of climate change, the available amount of water per person will decrease in the future.

If we assume that the amount of useable water does not change in the course of the 21st century, the per capita water amount will decrease to 1,200 m³ in 2050 because the population will increase. The Turkish Statistics Institute (TUIK) estimates that the population will increase to around 93 million in 2050. As TUIK predicts a smaller population for 2075 (82 million), the amount of water per capita will increase slightly to about 1,250 m³ in that year.

The climate change projections indicate that precipitation in Turkey will decrease, which will result in a reduction in the water resources and the amount of useable water. In this case, the per capita water amounts will further decrease. Population and climate change projections indicate that it is highly that the amount of water per capita will be lower than 1,000 m3 (“water scarcity” level) in the 2070s.

The map shows the changes of the water potentials for individual basins in Turkey. It suggests that there will be a substantial reduction in the southern basins, while little or no changes in the northern basins.