The purpose of this study was to compare technical recommendations for water supply projects for the city of Ankara, Turkey with institutional decisions that led to a water supply crisis during a drought in August, 2007. The authors provide an evaluation of government institutions responsible for planning and provision of Ankara’s water supply and treatment, and an analysis and comparison of the “1995 Master Plan Report on Ankara Water Supply Project” commissioned by Turkey’s General Directorate of State Hydraulic Works (DSI) and assigned to Japan’s Pacific Consultants International Group. The comparison reveals that Ankara’s water authorities did not heed to the advice of technical recommendations. Such planning failures led to a delay in necessary project implementation to prevent water shortages in the case of drought, uneconomical and unsustainable water pipeline transmission routes, and a loss of public trust in the authorities. Moreover, concerns and criticisms of civil society organizations were not taken into account by the water authorities in a constructive manner. Lack of dialogue and consultation among the stakeholders exacerbated the crisis and prevented opportunities to reach participative and democratic management and use of limited water resource in the city. As Ankara’s urban population is rapidly increasing so will the potable and industrial water needs. Streamlining the way in which the city manages water will be necessary to ensure a sustainable water future.
Key words: Water crisis, Ankara water, drought preparedness, Mediterranean water management, urban water.
ASKI, Ankara water and sewerage administration; DSI, general directorate of state hydraulic works; MEF, the ministry of environment and forestry;MP, Master Plan.
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