OUR COUNTRY IS UNDER WATER STRESS IN TERMS OF WATER PER CAPITA
325 facilities, which were completed within the scope of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, were put into service as part of the World Water Day event.
With the participation of Vice President Fuat Oktay and Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Prof. Dr. Vahit Kirişci. World Water Day event was held with the theme "Water is Homeland".
Speaking at the event at the Beştepe National Congress and Culture Centre, Kirişci said that the agricultural sector, which has strategic importance in Turkey as well as in the world, can never be replaced by another sector, and that the epidemic process and then the Russia-Ukraine war once again confirmed this reality.
Noting that global climate change is an important issue at the top of the global agenda, Kirişci said, "In this context, our Ministry has put water management at the centre of its activities. Today, we will inaugurate 325 facilities worth 4.6 billion liras, which were completed by our Ministry." he said.
TURKEY UNDER WATER STRESS
Noting that the annual average precipitation in Turkey is 574 millimetres and the world average is 990 millimetres, Kirişci emphasized that Turkey is not rich in water. Kirişci shared the following information:
"Due to the differences between regions, the annual average rainfall in Turkey varies between 250 and 2,500 millimetres. The total usable water amount of Turkey is 112 billion cubic meters per year. 58.4 billion cubic meters of this amount can only be used, corresponding to 52 percent. Of this, 45 billion cubic meters, 77 percent, is used in agriculture, and 13.4 billion cubic meters, 23 percent, is used in drinking water and industry. In summary, our country is among the countries that are under water stress in terms of the amount of water per capita. "
WE KEEP ON INVESTING
Kirişci underlined the need to be more careful and attentive about the effective and efficient use of water in agriculture, and in this framework, the Ministry is protecting water resources, transferring and/or transmitting water efficiently to consumption points, modernizing irrigation systems and choosing crop patterns in plant production according to water resources in the region. Underlining that "people's behaviour" is the determining factor here, Kirişci added, "As the Ministry, we continue to do our best to meet people's drinking and utility water needs, to manage waste water, to avoid damages from floods and overflows, to invest on clean energy sources HPPs and on irrigated agriculture which are the guarantee of food security."
IRRITED AGRICULTURAL AREA INCREASED TO 68,5 MILLION DECARES
Stating that the theme of 2022 World Water Day "makes groundwater visible", he said, "Ground waters are the largest accessible fresh water resources in the world. They have strategic importance. Most importantly, their unconscious consumption can cause irreversible damage. Therefore, we're trying to manage our groundwater through a sustainable policy.
Kirişci said that Turkey's underground waters are the most important natural resources that they will leave to future generations, and pointed out that the perception of "ground waters as if they are endless" is a matter that needs to be considered. Kirişci emphasized that raising people's awareness about groundwater will secure the water resources of future generations.
Stating that the Ministry has invested 295 billion liras in water in the last 19 years and 9,189 facilities have been put into service, Kirişci said, "20 million decares of land have been included in irrigated area. Thus, the irrigated agricultural area has increased to 68.5 million decares."
WE ARE WITH THE PRODUCERS
Pointing out that the importance of water storage structures is gradually increasing with the effect of climate change and population growth, Kirişci explained that alternative storage structures are on the agenda within this framework.
Kirişci reminded that underground storage facilities were added to the 11th Development Plan with the directives of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and became a state policy.
In this context, Kirişci stated that their goal is to build and put into service more than 200 underground dams and artificial recharge facilities by the end of 2023, and informed that 61 projects have been completed so far.
Addressing the producers in his speech, Kirişci concluded his words as follows:
"Please let us not have a single inch of land that has not been farmed or a single tree that has not been planted. Our barns, corrals, poultry and fish farms should never be empty. You produce, it is enough. Our President, our government and our ministry are always with you."
After the speeches, 325 facilities were inaugurated. In addition, a short film about the investments of the General Directorate of State Hydraulic Works was screened in the program.