Peer review artikel

Istanbul: the challenges of integrated water resources management in Europa's megacity


“Effective integrated water resources management (IWRM) and developments impacting on water resources are recognized as key components of environmentally sustainable development. Istanbul (Turkey) is a very large metropolitan city with a population of approximately 14 million. Istanbul is one of the 23 megacities (metropolitan areas with a population of more than 10 million) in the world and one of the most rapidly growing cities in Europe. The annual population growth is 2.8 %. The population growth in the city is almost twice the overall rate of the whole of Turkey, because of a large in-migration. The present study is a baseline assessment of IWRM of Istanbul and also provides a critical review of Istanbul’s future challenges. The assessment is part of an action on water governance (City Blueprints) in the context of the European Innovation Partnership on Water of the European Commission. The City Blueprint indicator approach and process have been applied as first step of gaining a better understanding of IWRM and the challenges ahead. This is done by using well-established and high-quality data sets, a relatively cost-effective online survey and a relatively simple questionnaire. Istanbul has set a good example to the challenges faced in water supply in megacities, where illegal settlements on watershed zones posed a threat to scarce water resources. Despite these enormous efforts, the projected future population growth and climate change in Istanbul will necessitate further major transitions towards sustainable IWRM. This holds for all aspects of the water cycle: water quality, water quantity, water supply and sanitation, coping with extreme weather events (floods and droughts), as well as for the protection of the sources of water, i.e. ecosystem conservation. Istanbul is a place where problems emerge and solutions need to be found. The time window available to do this is rapidly closing. As such, this review of IWRM of Istanbul confirms the conclusions of the World Economic Forum that water supply is one of the top three global risks for both the impact and likelihood. Our framework has been applied for nearly 40 cities, and the results for Istanbul are discussed in the broader context of recent initiatives on water governance and smart cities by the European Commission.”

(Citaat: Leeuwen, C.J. van, Sjerps, R.M.A. – Istanbul: the challenges of integrated water resources management in Europa’s megacity – Environment, Development and Sustainability 18(2016)1, p.1-17 – Open Access)

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