Water of the Middle East and North Africa

Water Use in Turkey

Ankara, Turkey - Water Use in Turkey
Photo 1: A woman collects pepper from a field in Çubuk district of Ankara on September 20, 2021. Source: Adem ALTAN / AFP

Water use per sector

Turkey’s annual water consumption is 54 BCM, equivalent to 48.2% of the country’s overall water potential.[1] In 2016, 40 BCM (74%) of this was used for irrigation, 7 BCM (13%) for drinking water and 7 BCM (13%) for industrial purposes (Table 1).[2] By 2023, the amount of water used for irrigation is expected to fall to 64%, while the share used for industrial purposes will rise to 20%.[3] In 2023, overall water consumption is expected to reach 112 BCM (Table 1).

Table 1: Breakdown of water consumption in 2016 and forecast for 2023.[5]

Irrigation40 BCM72 BCM
Domestic7 BCM18 BCM
Industrial7 BCM22 BCM
Total54 BCM112 BCM

According to TÜİK forecasts, Turkey’s population will reach approximately 90 million in 2030, and accessible water will decrease from 1,404 cubic metres (m3) per capita per year to 1,244 m3 per capita per year. According to the Falkenmark Index, which classifies countries in terms of their per capita water potential, Turkey is ‘water stressed’ since it has 1,000-1,500 m3 of water potential per capita per year. According to the same scale, if Turkey’s per capita per year water potential were to fall below 1,000 m3, the country would be considered ‘water scarce’ and measures to ensure more efficient use of water resources would be needed.[4]

[1] DSİ (Devlet Su İşleri), 2013. Water and DSİ. Ankara, Turkey, p. 18.
[2] DSİ (Devlet Su İşleri), 2022. www.dsi.gov.tr.
[3] Ibid.
[4] Wolf, A, Yoffe, S and Giordana, M, 2003. International waters: indicators for identifying basins at risk.  UNESCO.
[5] DSİ (Devlet Su İşleri), 2013. Water and DSİ. Ankara, Turkey, p. 18.