(ORDO NEWS) — Istanbul may run out of drinking water within 43 days as Turkey continues to suffer from its worst drought in a decade.
The water level at Omerli Dam, the city’s main water source, is the lowest in 15 years at just 20 percent due to lack of rain.
Meanwhile, the mayor of the capital of Ankara, Mansur Yavas, said that only 110 days were left in the dams and reservoirs.
In Turkey’s next two largest cities – Izmir and Bursa – dams are depleted to 36 and 24 percent, respectively.
The situation is so dire that mosques were ordered to pray for rain in accordance with a directive from the Office of Religious Affairs.
But the country’s water reserves continue to decline: rainfall has dropped by 49 percent.
Turkey produces just 1,346 cubic meters of water per capita per year, making it a water-scarce country.
Since the 1980s, it has faced a series of droughts due to urban sprawl, industrialization, population growth and climate change.
Istanbul Technical University Academician Sevinç Asilhan said Turkey has a semi-arid climate due to its geographic location, and said the country’s shrinking forests and green spaces have exacerbated the drought.
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