Water Management and Diplomacy (IJWMD)

Traditional Water Harvesting In Anatolia; Water Harvesting Prospects For Turkey


Senior Hydrological Expert Retired, General Directorate of State Hydraulic Works (DSI) 06100, Ankara, Turkey hamza.ozguler@gmail.com


It is a well known fact that the total amount of water on earth has remained constant. However, the rapid growth in population, extension of irrigated agriculture and industrial development are putting stress on the natural ecosystem. Therefore, it is now accepted that water should not be regarded with the philosophy of “use and discard’. Especially in the dry areas, water is the most limiting resource for improved agricultural production. Therefore, maximizing water productivity is a better strategy for dry farming systems. In this context, water harvesting as supplemental irrigation is considered as a highly efficient practice with great potential for increasing agricultural production and improving livelihoods in the dry rain-fed areas. Giving information on the historical findings about the traditional water harvesting methods in Anatolia where water harvesting had being applied since the very old times, this paper tries to highlight the effectiveness and productivity of existing water harvesting techniques and its future prospects in the dry rain-fed and arid regions of Turkey. The study shows that substantial and sustainable improvements in water productivity can only be achieved through integrated management. In this context, conventional water management guidelines should be revised to ensure maximum water productivity.

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