Water Resources Engineering (WRE) connects to economic, environmental, and societal issues. Our student, Jessica Emmerson, makes this connection in Istanbul, Turkey. This current event was reported in Information Technology Newsweekly, on April 4th, 2017, under the title, “Investigators from Istanbul University Release New Data on Information and Data Systems [Prediction Of Water Consumption In Istanbul By Means Of Statistical Forecasting Models & Geographic Information Systems (gis)”.This is a reliable news source based on the fact that it is based on research done by Istanbul University and the research is also referenced in “Istanbul : the challenges of integrated water resources management in Europa’s megacity”, an article from the journal, Environ Dev Sustain.

Figure1. Scenic downtown Istanbul, a relatively dense city of Turkey

The completion of the research by Istanbul University marks a very important moment in the way water infrastructure projects are viewed in the megacity and surrounding areas. Drinking water consumption is a constraint on water system designs that was not, until now, effectively modeled. “As such, effective investment can be considered and supported” (Information Technology Weekly). This is important in developing sustainable and successful infrastructure investments for the city. The report of the research completion may have been more informative if it included a broad overview of the results for the city.

Figure2. The breathtaking coast line of The Turkish Capitol City of Istanbul

In the water consumption area of WRE, the nexus of sustainability is invaluable. Without the environmental and societal sustainability, no project would be able to be economically sustainable. Being able to properly predict water consumption in a city as large as Istanbul is pertinent to being socially sustainable, because a water shortage would bring issues to the people that use the water. Water consumption, if too high and unaccounted for can also cause drought which would have a largely negative effect on the natural environment in and around the city. Anthropogenic draught has been seen occurring in California for many years. This has caused a slew of different issues but a prevalent social and economic issue was discussed in Nature magazine in an article titled “Water and climate: Recognize anthropogenic drought”. “Streams and wetlands are drying up, including the American River hatcheries of steelhead and Chinook salmon. More than 17,000 jobs have been lost, mainly in poor rural communities” (Nature, 409). Impacts of drought are dependent on the region, as in California the hatcheries suffered and thus caused economic and social issues, but in another region, it would be different depending on what areas the water services. If the water consumption in Istanbul was still being predicted with unsophisticated models as in the past, water scarcity could occur and cause similar issues to that of California. Istanbul is also a coastal City, on the Sea of Marmara off of the Mediterranean and Black Seas. Drought within the city of Istanbul would cause major economic despair because a city cannot function without a proper amount of water being distributed. Because Istanbul is Turkey’s largest industrial city and therefor makes up most of the economic activity for the country, it would be detrimental to the entire country.

Reference:

Aghakouchak A, Feldman D, Hoerling M, Huxman T, Lund J. Water and climate: Recognize anthropogenic drought. Nature. 2015;524(7566):409-411. doi:10.1038/524409a.

Investigators from Istanbul University Release New Data on Information and Data Systems [Prediction Of Water Consumption In Istanbul By Means Of Statistical Forecasting Models & Geographic Information Systems (gis)]. (2017, April 4). Information Technology Newsweekly, 77. http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?p=CDB&sw=w&u=sunycesfsc&v=2.1&it=r&id=GALE%7CA488086289&asid=30b9ee02a7b0694e176fe234b19c19a8

Leeuwen K, Sjerps R. Istanbul : the challenges of integrated water resources management in Europa’s megacity. Environ Dev Sustain. 2015;18(1):1-17. https://dspace.library.uu.nl/handle/1874/327990.

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