World

'Altering behavior, policies key to avoid water crisis'

Expert stresses need for concerted efforts to meet challenges raised by climate change

Zehra Aydin Turapoglu   | 07.01.2021
'Altering behavior, policies key to avoid water crisis'

Ankara

ANKARA

There is a dire need to change people’s water use habits if the world is to successfully overcome the looming global water crisis brought about climate change, according to a Turkish scientist.

Behavioral changes among individuals can help massively reduce the current levels of water waste around the world, Mehmet Ekmeci, a hydrology expert at Turkey’s Hacettepe University told Anadolu Agency.

“Climate change has proven the need for people to alter their water use habits. We stand to suffer less harm the sooner we achieve this goal,” he said.

He said it is imperative to raise awareness among people from a young age and families can play a critical role to that end.

Ekmeci underlined that solid water policies are also key for successful conservation efforts.

In Turkey, he said, over 70% of water use is for agricultural purposes, but the country’s usage efficiency in the field remains low.

“According to a report by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, Turkey is among the countries using water in agriculture with the least efficiency. We generate $10 in export value per one cubic meter of water,” he explained.

“The efficiency rate falls between $40 to $80 in developed countries, while it is over $80 in Scandinavian states.”

Two of the most significant reasons for natural water loss, according to Ekmeci, are inadequate storage of rainwater and water lost due to evaporation from large bodies such as lakes.

To avoid a future crisis, he said Turkey must develop short, medium, and long-term water management plans that account for the increasing population pressure and climate change impact.

“To ensure water security, Turkey must use all of its resources and mobilize all institutions and organizations that are directly or indirectly linked to this issue,” Ekmeci concluded.

*Writing by Burak Bir

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