The Sustainability Problems of Irrigation in Turkey

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The Sustainability Problems of Irrigation in Turkey


Çiftçi, Nizamettin
Acar, Bilal
Topak, Ramazan
Çelebi, Muhittin


Water, a vital source for humanity and all living things throughout the history, has contributed to the formation of civilizations. It has the economical value as well as social and cultural characteristics. The land and water potentials have reduced due to rapid growing in urbanization and industrialization in Turkey. Water quality has begun to deteriorate as a result of environmental factors. Irrigated land also has been increasing every year. Turkey has arid and semi-arid climate characteristics and annual average precipitation is almost 643 mm. The total annual available surface and groundwater potential is 110 km3. Annual water potential per capita is 2565 m3, and available water potential is 1517 m3 in Turkey. According to the water per capita, Turkey is a waterstress country. Turkey covers a total land area of 78 million hectares, of which 28 million hectares is cultivated land. The economically irrigable land is 8.5 million hectares under the present condition. According to the 2009 records, irrigated land is 5.1 million hectares. Presence of large number of fragmented and small farm lands, scant water supplies, poor and insufficient infrastructures in irrigation networks, deficiency in irrigation water management and drainage problems have affected negatively to the sustainability of irrigation in Turkey.


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