Thursday, August 21, 2008
Lake Tuz no longer 2nd largest in Turkey due to climate change and waste
Lake Tuz No Longer Second Largest Lake in Turkey
Lake Tuz, located in central Anatolia and known as the second-largest lake of Turkey, can no longer carry that title as it has shrunk by 85 percent over the last 90 years due to global warming, drought and the over usage of its water for irrigation purposes.
Aksaray University department of engineering, geodesy and photogrammetry engineering instructor Semih Ekercin spoke with the Anatolia news agency on Tuesday and said he examined the changes to the coastlines of Lake Tuz, second in size only to Lake Van, located in eastern Anatolia, and Beyşehir Lake, located in the western part of central Anatolia.
Ekercin said he even received support from NASA during the course of his study, adding that after examining satellite maps of Turkey provided by the US, Japan and France, he found there was a serious shrinkage of Turkey's lakes.
Ekercin said Lake Tuz covered 216,400 hectares in 1915. "Lake Tuz has shrunk at an alarming rate from then on. The water surface area of Lake Tuz decreased to 92,600 hectares in 1987," Ekercin said. "I clearly detected from the satellite images that the area of Lake Tuz decreased to 32,600 hectares in 2005. Drought, the over usage of water in the lake basin for irrigation and global warming have led to the loss of water in the lake.
Ekercin said there is a need for urgent and radical measures to protect Lake Tuz. "If the necessary measures are not taken, by 2015 Lake Tuz will no longer exist."
Radical measures indeed. The World Water Forum is taking place this week in Stockholm... but like every other year, what "radical" plans will come from it? Every year there are meetings, forums, dinners, and talks. And every year we see scenarios like Lake Tuz in Turkey continuing to play out before our eyes. We talk, and yet while talking still continue to perpetuate the climate change/global warming that is dropping levels in waterways worldwide. We talk, and yet continue to pollute our waterways until they are of no use to us or other species and cause the death of many rivers worldwide. We talk, and yet we still do not have a sufficient global plan to deal with the affects of climate change/drought that are slowly and silently creeping to all corners of this world as we continue to waste water with inefficient agricultural practices, infrastructure, and greed.
Those who know of and remember the tragedy of the Aral Sea in Russia see a hauntingly familiar and frightening pattern here. People care more for their own selfish sustainment than for only using what they need, which is considerably less than what they want. How many lakes and rivers will we run dry before we realize that we are running out of time to fight for the sustainability of this planet? Where is the plan? Where are the politicians? The World Bank doesn't have that plan. The IMF doesn't have that plan. The G8 doesn't have that plan. Will the World Water Forum in Stockholm have that plan?
The loss of Lake Tuz like so many other waterways, the Murray River in Australia as a starker example is a harbinger to us that something is terribly wrong.
Why aren't we listening?
WHAT WILL IT TAKE?
How many more?
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