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DRYING WATERFALLS IN NORTHWESTERN TURKIYE IMPACT ECOSYSTEM!

The northwestern region of Kırklareli is grappling with distressing consequences of climate change, as several waterfalls, ponds and dams have dried up due to a combination of scanty rainfall in the spring and scorching summer temperatures. The implications of these environmental changes are impacting the local ecosystem and disrupting tourism in the area.

Data from the General Directorate of Meteorology reveals a concerning trend of declining precipitation in the city over the last three years. In 2021, Kırklareli received 865 kilograms (approximately 865,000 milliliters) of precipitation per square meter, which reduced to 495 kilograms in 2022 and further plummeted to 315 kilograms in 2023 (January-September).

Mustafa Utku Yılmaz, a faculty member at Kırklareli University’s Faculty of Engineering specializing in hydraulics and water resources, emphasized that diminishing water resources result from climate change and human activities.

Mustafa Utku Yılmaz

Yılmaz underscored the unique geographical location of Thrace, noting that water resources are particularly critical in the region due to its heavy reliance on agriculture. He pointed out that the Istranca Mountains, known for their significant water resources, also face depletion due to insufficient rainfall and prolonged drought.

Comparing the severity of this year’s drought to previous years, Yılmaz stated, “There is a significant decrease in water resources in our region. Many lakes are on the verge of drying up, and the water levels in dams have plummeted. This situation is especially dire for our natural wonders – the waterfalls.”

Göksal Çidem, president of the Kırklareli Nature and Conservation Association, noted that the effects of climate change are being felt in every sector, particularly in agriculture. He noted that climate change, a global phenomenon, has also affected Thrace in recent years, leading to decreased water resources, primarily due to reduced precipitation.

Göksal Çidem

Çidem stressed on the importance of viewing forests not solely as sources of timber or locations for mining and energy projects but as vital components of water retention, water regulation, and air purification. “Our forests must be protected at all costs,” Çidem asserted.

About İsmail Uğural

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