The Zernek dams built on the Hoşap Stream in Van and the Sarımehmet dams on the Karasu Stream are in danger of drying out due to the low water level.
Excessive evaporation due to the decrease in precipitation and the increase in temperature caused a great decrease in the water level of the dams as well as the rivers, ponds and water resources in the region.
The water level in the Zernek Dam with a water capacity of 105 million cubic meters, which was established in 1988 for the purpose of irrigation and electricity generation in the Gürpınar district, dropped to 22 million cubic meters.
The amount of water in the Sarımehmet Dam, which was built in Muradiye in 1991 with a water capacity of 196 million cubic meters, decreased to 30 million cubic meters.
Small islets appeared in the two dams, where the water dropped to the lowest level in the last 5 years due to drought, cracks formed on the surface of the barren soil.
Local residents, who are fishing and farming, are hoping for the expected rainfall these days.
“We Will Immediately Inform the Citizen Engaging in Agriculture”
State Hydraulic Works (DSI) 17th Regional Director, Ayhan Şahna, told Anadolu Agency (AA) that as in the rest of the world, there is a negative situation in lakes and dams in Turkey due to global warming.
Stating that there was no significant change in the water level in Koçköprü and Morgedik, among the 4 dams in Van, but the water level in Zernek and Sarımehmet dams decreased greatly, Şahna said, “When we examine the data of the last 5 years, the water is at the lowest level in Zernek Dam, 22 million cubic meters of water remains. We see. If this continues, we predict that the spillway will not work next year. For this reason, we will immediately inform the citizen dealing with agriculture. We will direct you to products that need less water. We will move on to the restricted irrigation process. Hopefully, we will get heavy snow and rain in our region.” he said.
“The Amount of Water Decreases Due to Global Warming”
Emphasizing that a similar situation was experienced in Sarımehmet, Şahna said that the water level in the dam, which has a storage of 196 million cubic meters, has not risen above 50 percent for 10 years.
Noting that the dam has the lowest amount of water in degrees, Şahna said:
“This will affect the irrigation area negatively. We need to use the available water in a limited way and without wasting it. Since there is no snowfall in our region in winter, we have difficulty in storing within the reserve area of the dams. In terms of degrees, we have problems in both of our dams. Hopefully, with the rain, we will be able to eliminate these problems. The rapid decrease in water due to global warming will cause serious problems in agriculture. As DSI, we are making an effort to increase the number of our ponds and dams in areas exposed to drought, and to store them during periods of abundant water and to offer them to the service of our farmers.”
Mehmet Doğal, who has been fishing at Zernek Dam for 25 years, said, “I am 65 years old and have been living here since my childhood. This is the first time I have witnessed the water drop in the dam. The areas where we used to fish have turned into land. I have never seen such a drought in my life.” said.
Translator: Mehmet Akif Coşkun
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