Istanbul sets record for highest water consumption in 2023

In 2023, Istanbul witnessed a historic milestone, marking the year with its highest recorded water consumption.

Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality’s subsidiary, the Istanbul Water and Sewerage Administration (ISKI), facilitated a total water flow of 1,117,064,116 cubic meters, setting a new record. The average daily water consumption for the year stood at 3,060,450 cubic meters, underlining the city’s escalating water needs.

ISKI provided 841.96 million cubic meters sourced from regulators and 275.10 million from dams. An impressive 440,532,935 cubic meters of water were transferred from the Asian side to the European side, where the total water consumption reached 737.94 million.

July 27, 2023, stood out in history as the day when the city experienced its highest water usage, reaching 3.5 million cubic meters per day. In contrast, the lowest water usage was recorded on April 23, 2023, with 2,524,736 cubic meters, marking a significant variation in water demand throughout the year.

The number of subscribers served by ISKI increased from 6,819,930 in 2022 to 6,891,231 in 2023.

The European side accounted for 66.06% of the total water usage rate, whereas the Anatolian side constituted 33.94%.

Occupancy rate of dams

During a dry year in Istanbul, dam occupancies plummeted from 40% to 30% and 20% after spring. The lowest rate hit an alarming 16.18% in November 2023, while the highest reached 52.11% in December 2023, marking the year’s end.

As 2024 began, a positive trend emerged with rising occupancy rates due to recent rains. Recent data from ISKI indicates that Istanbul’s dam occupancy has soared to 55.31%. Notably, Alibeyköy Dam, nearly depleted, has surged from 12% to 64.5% in recent measurements.

After a dry spell during the summer and autumn, Istanbul’s lakes, reinvigorated by November’s rainfall, are swiftly replenishing. ISKI’s measurements reveal a current occupancy of 55.31%, compared to 52.11% a month ago, 31.03% two months ago and 18.59% three months ago, marking a significant recovery from the 16% low.

Among the significant dam occupancy changes, Alibeyköy Dam, an essential water source for Istanbul, rebounded from 12% to 64.5%. Sazlıdere Dam, initially at a meager 2.92% due to drought, has now climbed to 38.22%. Elmalı Dam recorded the highest surge, rising from 20% during the drought to an impressive 88.62%, signaling a remarkable turnaround, according to ISKI’s records.

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