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Essential Tools To Establish A Comprehensive Drought Management Plan: Konya Closed Basin As A Case Study

Congress: 2015
Author(s): Emre KOKEN (Ankara, Turkey), Mustafa Berk DUYGU, Bilal KIRMENCIOGLU, Maruf ARAS
General Directorate of Water Management1

Keyword(s): Sub-theme 11: Key vulnerabilities and security risks,
Article: Oral:
AbstractDrought is a vital phenomenon in semi-arid regions; particularly in endorheic (closed) basins where water resources are scarce to meet demands. Konya Closed Basin is one of the most susceptible basins to drought in Turkey. The basin has suffered and endured many severe droughts throughout the history: Thousands of people died and migrated as consequence droughts occurred in 1874, 1928 and 1933. Almost one-third of last 60-year and almost half of the last decade were dry-years and droughts have been experienced at various severity levels. With respect to frequently occurred droughts in the basin, Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs of Turkish Republic commissioned Drought Management Plan (DMP) for Konya Closed Basin. The objective of the plan is to estimate prospective drought risks, establish measures to be taken before-, during- and after-drought catastrophes and resolve drought-caused problems in the basin. This article is aimed to share experiences achieved during the preparation of the plan and present primary results and discuss essential tools to establish a comprehensive drought management plan. Konya Closed Basin is almost 50000 km², located in the Central Anatolian Plateau. The elevation of the plateau is mostly 1000 m and above. The southern border of the basin is surrounded by Central Taurus Mountains which partly reaches 2500-3000 m altitude. Central Taurus Mountains prevent rainfall passing from Mediterranean Sea to the basin; therefore dominant climate is classified as semi-arid to arid. However, various climates prevail at the basin due to its large area: The southern areas have Mediterranean climate; central and northern areas have semi-arid and sub-humid continental climate; Konya and particularly Karapınar district have continental and exact semi-arid climate. Annual mean precipitation is 374 mm, however records range between 275 mm (in the eastern part of the basin) and 755 mm (in the western part of the basin). Monthly mean evaporation ranges between 200 mm and 300 mm throughout the summer, and annual mean evaporation is higher than 1250 mm. The basin has 2538 hm³/year surface, 2404 hm³/year subsurface and 4942 hm³/year total water potential. While the basin has only 2% of Turkey's surface water potential, it houses 17% of subsurface water potential; thus, Konya Basin has the lowest surface water, but the highest subsurface water potential all across Turkey. The basin has 2.5 million ha of arable lands and agriculture is the most important practice in the basin. Socioeconomic development is predominantly relied on irrigated agriculture. Irrigation facilities have been operated since 1914 and more than 600000 ha lands are irrigated with surface and groundwater irrigation facilities. Agriculture sector is the largest consumer of water. Approximately 3 billion m³ water is allocated for irrigation. Extending irrigated land area is always primary subject; however, available water resources are not adequate. Therefore, an inter-basin water transfer project (The Mavi Tunnel) has already been constructed to supply additional 414 million m³ water to the basin, and other water transfer projects have been drafted to develop water resources of the basin. The basin has experienced serious droughts throughout the history. Drought records date back to mid-19th century. Severe droughts have experienced in 1844, 1845, 1854, 1874, 1887, 1917, 1918, 1928, 1933, 1935, 1939, 1942, 1945, and periods between 1972-1974, 1982-1984, 1999-2001, 2004-2006 and 2012-2013 that caused thousands of people suffer with low crop yield, hunger, malnutrition, water scarcity, mass migration and death. Drought Management Plan of Konya Closed Basin is commissioned to estimate prospective drought risks; establish mitigation, preparedness and action plans; and, develop a web-based database. Prospective drought risks are forecasted using well-accepted meteorological, hydrological and agricultural drought indices and indicators. For this purpose, droughts throughout the meteorological observation are analyzed and calibrated with historical drought events and basin-specific threshold values of utilized indices and indicators are determined accordingly. Furthermore, water potential and changes in water potential as a consequence of global warming and climate change are analyzed. To investigate the impacts of climate change on water potential, a strategy is developed involving regional climate modeling and hydrological modeling. Future changes of hydro-meteorological parameters for the period between 2015 and 2050 are computed by regional climate modelling. Estimated parameters are used as input in developed hydrologic simulation model and future water potential is forecasted. Drought Vulnerability Assessment is established for municipal water, agricultural irrigation, industrial and aquatic ecosystems sectors, considering future water potential and vulnerability of water consuming sectors to drought. For this purpose, a quantitative drought vulnerability tool is developed to evaluate impact levels for each sector. Sustainable use of available and estimated water potential during drought events at various severity levels are evaluated considering vulnerability assessment results. Drought Mitigation, Preparedness and Action plans are established in consonance with the lessons-learned from previous drought catastrophes and forecasted future drought conditions. These plans included measures for drought mitigation and prevention of the impacts of water scarcity on production resources and socio-economical life such as: (i) operation advices of existing water systems under various drought severity conditions; (ii) policies for efficient use of limited water resources considering existing agricultural policies and practices; (iii) suggestions for conservation and prevention of illegal use and overdrafting groundwater resources; (iv) actions for raising consumer awareness; (v) water pricing policies under various drought severity conditions; (vi) enforcement and inspection of foreseen actions by pertinent institutions. Drought Management Plan is a complementary and final document. This document essentially included a conceptual management organization to take actions, make enforcement and inspect foreseen actions. Besides, the plan included key findings of aforementioned analyses and assessments that guide decision-makers during strategy determination process. A web-based GIS/database application is developed for drought monitoring in conjunction with DMP. This database enabled monitoring meteorological, agricultural, hydrological and integrated drought maps and gave supplementary information for evaluation of presented maps. The main purpose of this study is to share experiences achieved during the preparation of the plan, present primary results of the project and discuss essential tools to establish a comprehensive drought management plan. 1. Dolsar (2013) Preliminary Report on Drought Management Plan of the Konya Closed Basin. Technical Report. 2. Dolsar (2014) First Interim Report on Drought Management Plan of the Konya Closed Basin. Vol.1: Drought Indices, Indicators and Threshold Values. Technical Report. 3. Dolsar (2014) First Interim Report on Drought Management Plan of the Konya Closed Basin. Vol.2: Regional Climate Modeling. Technical Report. 4. Dolsar (2014) First Interim Report on Drought Management Plan of the Konya Closed Basin. Vol.3: Hydrological Modeling. Technical Report. 5. Dolsar (2014) First Interim Report on Drought Management Plan of the Konya Closed Basin. Vol.4: Drought Vulnerability Assessment. Technical Report. 6. Dolsar (2014) First Progress Report on Drought Management Plan of the Konya Closed Basin. Technical Report. 7. Dolsar (2014) Second Progress Report on Drought Management Plan of the Konya Closed Basin. Technical Report. 8. Dolsar (2014) Third Progress Report on Drought Management Plan of the Konya Closed Basin. Technical Report. 9. Dolsar (2014) Fourth Progress Report on Drought Management Plan of the Konya Closed Basin. Technical Report.
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