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Sustainability of the Gediz Basin-Turkey: A water, energy and food nexus approach

IWRA World Water Congress 2017 - Cancun Mexico
6. Water and sustainable growth
Author(s): Adnan Degirmencioglu
Rabi H. Mohtar
Bassel T. Daher
Gulden Ozgunaltay Ertugrul

Adnan Degirmencioglu
Ege University
Rabi H. Mohtar
Texas A
Bassel T. Daher
Texas A
Gulden Ozgunaltay Ertugrul
Ahi Evran University

Keyword(s): Crop production, analysis, climate change, mechanization, gasoline consumption


In the face of changing climate and increasing global population, an adequate food supply depends not only on increasing food production but also optimal utilization of natural recources. Water, energy and food are interrelated and absolutely connected factors. Water is an important input for agricultural production while energy is the important input for the utilization of water and other agricultural operations. Turkey is one of the largest countries in the world. The arable lansd is about 35.5% of the country and the cultivated land is around 24 million hecteras as of 2015. Around 18.4% of the cultivated land is irrigated. Vegetable products account for 76% of the total agricultural production and it reuires significant amount of blue water. The Turkish Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock launched a project, dividing the country into 30 different river basins and announced the policy in the official Gazette on the 7th of September, 2010. The goal of the project was to idetify the best crops to be grown in each basin and their growth patterns, thereby enhancing the quality of life of the people living in the basin areas. Gedi basin is one of these basins. Upon completion of this project on the river basin and after applying similar methods to other river basins, it will be possible to obtain a macro level water, energy and food analysis for the whole country. Thus, the production will be done on the basis of water, energy and food reliability, ensuring reliably simultaneous water, energy and food production. Hence a study using the concept of WEF Nexus concept was conducted and the objective of this study that solely focuses on the Gediz Basin-Turkey was to determine the connections between the nexus of water, energy and food, and the development of a method and forward looking scenarios for the optimal utilization of theses resources. Within the scope of the study, the current situation was analyzed and future scnearios for the year 2030, 2040 and 2050 were developed as a result of urbanization, climate change and technological developments in agricultural production. From the study conducted, the followings were concluded:

- The crop pattern in the region is an effective parameter for land allocation and water deman.

-It may be concluded that self-sufficieny and sustainability in the basin will worsen in the long term of the year 2030, 2040 and 2050 as compared to the year 2014.

-The reduction in land as a consequence of urbanization and water scarcity due to climate change are inevitable but in order to maintain sustainability at the current level, varieties resistant to drought should be selected and some new farming practices such as direct panting and drip irrigation systems should be seriously considered.

- Enviroment friendly applications in agriculture are believed not only to reduce energy inputs but will also help tp preserve the quality of the resources (less pollution)  

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