TEKİRDAĞ Namık Kemal University (NKU) Faculty of Agriculture, Biosystem Engineering Department of Land and Water Resources, Lecturer Prof. Dr. Halim Orta said that the last 24 months’ data show that there is a serious drought in Turkey, especially in Thrace. Stating that the meteorological and agricultural drought continues, Orta noted that 3 out of 4 of the underground waters in Thrace are depleted.
‘SERIOUS Drought Threat CONTINUES’
NKU Faculty of Agriculture, Biosystem Engineering Department of Land and Water Resources, Lecturer Prof. Dr. Halim Orta said that when we look at the latest data, there is a very serious drought in Turkey, especially in Thrace. Orta stated that the weather is hot during the day and below zero at night, but when we look at it statistically, we come across values as if there is not much meaning in that sense. I looked at the last ones again, there is a very serious drought especially in Thrace and Turkey in the 3-month, 6-month, 9-month, 12-month and 24-month period. There is both meteorological drought and agricultural drought. The producer planted his winter cereals in this region, which is why we plant winter cereals. It sowed completely dry this year and had a very costly climate. The small amount of precipitation that fell behind it provided germination output. Currently, there is a moisture in the soil around 25 cm. The soil under it is completely dry and our expectation is that the 90 cm, 1 meter soil profile of the profile will gradually rise towards the field capacity in this period, it will be completely wet. After that, groundwater recharges will begin. But at the moment, such a situation is definitely out of question, and when we look at the drought maps published by the State Meteorological Service for 24 months, I say it again every quarter, a significant part of it and the region are under serious threat of drought, the threat continues.
‘CLEAN WATER NETWORKS ARE VERY IMPORTANT’
Stating that the accumulation of snow and rain water is very important and that it is important to establish clean water networks in cities, Prof. Dr. Orta, One of them is tillage, for example, tillage in agricultural areas is very important. Secondly, there are serious reductions in concrete, urbanization and agricultural lands due to the opening of forest areas, meadows, pastures and new settlements in every sense, opening up to industry and using agricultural lands for other purposes. And as a result of these reductions, it becomes more and more difficult for long-term low-intensity precipitation, especially snow, which we call winter precipitation, to infiltrate the soil and reach groundwater, not disappearing with the surface flow. Clean water networks must now be established in cities, and rainwater and rainwater must be used for other purposes without being removed by sewer networks. He said, “What can this be?
‘UNDERGROUND WATER IS RUNNING EVERYTHING’
prof. Dr. Halim Orta pointed out that the underground waters in Thrace are getting depleted day by day and said:
Groundwater is problematic. Why is the water level in the dams, as the water levels in the ponds decrease, water users are using their previously existing wells, groundwater. It is the same in the industry as well as in the drinking water in cities. Therefore, the usage here is increasing day by day. We have never said no to the use of nutrition. In other words, if there is 5 units of groundwater feeding, 5 units should be used. But if you add 10 or 15 units per year to 5 units of nutrition, this will keep your water level constantly lower. As of now, this problem continues in Thrace and we have used 400 meters of the 600 meters long Ergene aquifer. So we have used three out of 4. Because why we have 0.4 billion cubic meters of nutrition in our Ergene-Meriç aquifer, according to our calculations, our annual withdrawal is now over 1 billion cubic meters. Therefore, we feed 0.4, we draw 1 billion. So we’re taking more than double that. Therefore, the level continues to decrease day by day. The decrease in water leads to a drought, which we call socioeconomic drought in the human sense. According to the studies, this socioeconomic drought is felt very hard in the regions where the industry and population are dense. It makes the biggest impact there. For example, in people living in rural areas, or in homogeneously dispersed regions, the effects are caused by the low human population, but the socioeconomic effects are not felt very strongly. But for us, too, in metropolitan areas such as the region we live in or Istanbul, the system collapses seriously with a terrible population density and a terrible industrial density. At first, food prices go up and down. On the other hand, the sector becomes inoperable. When the sector cannot work, people begin to be unemployed. If you think that rising prices on the one hand, and people who are unemployed on the other, come together, the extent of the disaster will be terrible. On that occasion, where there are too many people and where there is too much industry, the effects of socioeconomic drought will be much more severe in those regions.
‘DROUGHT AFFECTS SUMMER PRODUCTS MUCH’
Expressing that drought will affect summer crops a lot, Orta said, Drought, of course, affects summer crops most seriously. If you look at the region that is planted in the summer and harvested in the summer, melon, watermelon, tomato and other vegetables and garden plants come first. This does not mean that it does not affect winter products. The ancients have a very important discourse. They say fear the winter drought, not the summer drought. That means fear the winter drought. Even if there is precipitation in the summer, if we get enough precipitation in winter, if we can increase the soil profile to the humidity level of at least 1 meter, which we call the field capacity, this will have a very positive effect on the plants to be cultivated in the summer, especially the cereals. But I do not think of a plant that will not be affected by drought. It affects all of the oily products such as wheat, sunflower and canola, which we call strategic products, especially those that have a place in our diet. Where we don’t have trouble Maybe we don’t have trouble with hazelnuts and tea in the products grown in the Black Sea, but other than that, especially in winter, including the fruit that grows in our Southeastern Anatolia Region, Mediterranean, Aegean, Marmara Region and is important for us. “If we experience the drought, we will have problems in fruit growing,” he said.