Uncontrolled use of groundwater resources in the regions with insufficient amount of surface water (rivers and lakes) stands out as another challenge. Use of illegal wells for groundwater extraction is a major issue. Despite the legal regulations on wells, the problem related to illegal wells cannot be solved because of the inadequate sanctions and inspection. The groundwater resources are subject to intense use for agriculture purpose. Because of over-extraction, most of the groundwater resources are under the threat of extinction.
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The Euphrates-Tigris basin is among the most important river basins in Turkey and in the Middle East. The average annual discharge of the Euphrates and Tigris rivers is 84 billion m3, which equals to the average annual flow of the Nile River. Euphrates provides 90 per cent of water, whose average annual flow is 32 billion m3, from Turkey.
The discussions about the creation of a ministry related to the water resources have continued for a long time and took its final form in 2011 under the name of the Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs.This ministry is responsible for the development of policies related to the protection of water resources and their sustainable use, and the coordination of the national water management.
Between 1950 and 1965, open irrigation canals were constructed in Turkey. Irrigation systems with canalettes have been introduced since 1965. Irrigation systems with canallettes were constructed between 1970 and 1980. By 1990, low and medium pipe network with advanced pipe technologies have been used.
It is essential to take immediate measures to prevent potential water shortage. Thus, demand-oriented management should be the focus rather than supply-oriented management. Demand-oriented management is provided by efficiently using water resources through limiting demand on water, and setting institutional, economic and administrative incentives to save water. It is essential for water resources management to be flexible and effective enough to adapt to changing climate conditions, dry spells, and new precipitation patterns.
Gaza’s water crisis affects every one of the territory’s 1.76 million inhabitants. The heavy pollution of water resources in the Gaza Strip has a severe impact on public health; children are particularly at risk from water-related diseases. In addition, the local economy, agricultural production in particular, and the environment suffer the consequences of the water scarcity and pollution.