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Istanbul: municipality to build water tanks to overcome drought

An aerial view of Turkish drilling vessel 'Fatih' passing under the July 15 Martyrs' Bridge as it is on the way, in Istanbul, Turkey on 29 May 2020. [Muhammed Enes Yıldırım - Anadolu Agency]
An aerial view of Turkish drilling vessel 'Fatih' passing a bridge in Istanbul, Turkey on 29 May 2020 [Muhammed Enes Yıldırım/Anadolu Agency]

Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality is to build water storage tanks for every building over 1,000 square metres to store rainwater so that citizens can overcome drought, local media have reported. Public buildings, shopping malls and commercial properties will have adequate drainage installed to help the system to be effective.

"I think that this arrangement is very meaningful both in terms of global climate change and environmental awareness," said Tevfik Goksu, Deputy Chairman of the AK Party group in the Municipal Assembly. "Good luck to Istanbulites."

Major cities across Turkey face the prospect of running out of water in the next few months. Istanbul has been warned that it has less than 45 days of water left in local reservoirs. Poor rainfall has led to a dry winter season and the country is staring at its most severe drought in a decade.

Turkey has faced several severe droughts over the years. Most were caused by a combination of factors, including population growth, industrialisation and climate change, as well as low rainfall.

According to the World Health Organisation, 80 to 90 per cent of natural disasters in the past ten years have occurred as a result of floods, droughts and severe storms. An estimated 55 million people globally are affected by droughts every year, and they are the most serious hazard to livestock and crops in nearly every part of the world.

Even though Cairo is situated on the banks of the River Nile, it too may face critical water shortages by 2025. Sao Paulo, Mexico City, Tokyo and Moscow are all dealing with the same problem. In India, major cities like Delhi and Chennai have to cope with water shortages every year.

READ: Climate change could raise demand for humanitarian aid, UN warns

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