Turkey is preparing a new law for the sake of better water management, the country’s president said on Monday.
“We are preparing a water law in parliament to reach our goals faster and to prevent conflicts of authority in water management,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in the capital Ankara at the launch of a new Water Council and mass opening ceremony for 363 facilities.
Erdogan said the new council will help shape the water law.
Stressing that Turkey needs to renew agricultural irrigation systems, he said the country should use its existing resources more efficiently by encouraging water conservation.
Underlining that Turkey is a water-stressed country, he said Turkey has to share its limited water resources with neighboring Iraq and Syria.
“We have always shown the necessary sensitivity to meeting the water needs of our neighbors. We have never turned the water issue into a threat or a bargaining tool in our bilateral ties. We will maintain this same fair attitude going forward,” he added.
Erdogan said a total of 363 facilities built by the State Waterworks have been put into service for the public. A total of 146.5 million cubic meters of water is stored and 12.3 million cubic meters of drinking water comes annually thanks to these facilities, he added.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and a drought, last year Turkey broke a national record for agricultural output, he added.
"Our agricultural output rose 20% compared to the previous year to 334 billion [Turkish] liras. We continue our leadership in agricultural output in Europe,” he said.
This year, the government will provide a total of 24 billion Turkish liras in agricultural support to producers, he said.
By Gozde Bayar