The International Water Conference on Water Problems in the Mediterranean Countries (WPMC 2019) that Hosted by the Near East University Was Completed with an Intensive Participation…

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Added On: 18 May 2019, Saturday, 00:55
Last Edited On: 18 May 2019, Saturday, 00:55

The International Water Conference on Water Problems in the Mediterranean Countries (WPMC 2019) that Hosted by the Near East University Was Completed with an Intensive Participation…

Having been organized by the Near East University, “The Second International Conference on Water Problems in the Mediterranean Countries” (WPMC 2019) has been realized. The conference provided a 4 day lasting scientific platform for scholars, scientists, decision-makers, researchers and field experts from different countries to discuss water problems experienced in the Mediterranean countries, the reasons and solutions.

The Directorate of Press and Publc Relations Office of Near East University released that the opening remarks of the conference were delivered respectively by Professor Hüseyin Gökçekus, the Chairperson of the Conference, Professor James La Moreaux, the Chairperson of the Conference Scientific Committee, Gürkan Yağcıoğlu, the Chairperson of the Chamber of Civil Engineers, Associate Professor Mustafa Kurt, the Vice Rector of Near East University, and Ahmet Benli, the Mayor of Gönyeli.

Dr. Azhari Fatahalla Ahmed, 2007 Nobel Prize Holder, also contributed to the conference with a speech on Global Climate Change.

During the speeches, alongside the water demand and the management of the current situation in the country, other issues such as water scarcity, water quality problems and water management issues encountered almost in every country, the significant negative impacts of global climate change, long-lasting droughts, rapid and unplanned urbanization, and the environmental pollution caused by waste products of industry on the available surface and groundwater resources were addressed and the crucial role of a country-wide disaster management program in preventing the financial and spiritual losses caused by sudden and heavy rains, rapid and unplanned urbanization and the infrastructure shortcomings was also underlined. The papers presented at the conference will be published as a special issue by the world-famous Springer.

“Water Quantity and Quality is Poor…”
In his opening remarks, Professor Hüseyin Gökçekuş, the Chairperson of the Conference, stated that they reorganized the conference titled “Water Problems in the Mediterranean Countries” for the second time after 22 years and emphasized the inadequate amount of water.

“On the day that we held the first conference 22 years ago, not only our country but also many Mediterranean countries and other countries across the globe had been experiencing water problems, we are experiencing these problems at present as well. Moreover, within this time, the need for water, which is a necessity for all life forms, has been increased due to rapid growth in the population of the world. Besides, the uncontrolled population growth causes environmental degradation and threatens water resources. On the other hand, the demands for more and better quality drinking water are increasing in the line with the high living standards. The need for water in agriculture and industry is also increasing in the line with the growing population. The water quantity was not sufficient on that day, it is not sufficient today as well.

The projections based on scientific studies reveal that water shortage will be felt more severely in more countries as the world population is expected to exceed 9 billion by 2050. In an environment where there is no water security, it is not possible to talk about food security” said he.

Professor Gökçekuş noted that the Eastern Mediterranean, where our country is also situated, would face greater and more severe water problems as a result of some factors such as droughts that occur due to global climate change, noticeable increases in temperature and the decrease in the precipitation. As a result of all these factors, the water supply-demand equilibrium will gradually become unbalanced and today’s world, especially the Mediterranean countries, will be experiencing a water-oriented chaos in the coming years.

The International Water Conference on Water Problems in the Mediterranean Countries (WPMC 2019) that Hosted by the Near East University Was Completed with an Intensive Participation…

Mine Tailings, Artificial Fertilizers Used in Agriculture, Chemicals Used for Agricultural Control Impair the Water Quality…
Drawing attention to the importance of maintaining the boundary or interface between the ground water and sea water as a state of dynamic equilibrium, Professor Gökçekuş stated that this balance was disrupted and reversed in coastal areas, especially in Güzelyurt Region due to the excessive water consumption. “Sea-water intrusion into the coastal aquifers has caused significant salinization problem. Not only salinization but also some other factors such as waste and debris dumping in stream beds and pond areas particularly in dry periods, mine tailings in Lefka Region, artificial fertilizers used in agriculture, and chemicals used for agricultural control impair the water quality” noted he..

The Project of the Century, Designed to Supply Water through Pipeline from Turkey to Northern Cyprus, Has Eliminated the Drinking Water Problem of TRNC for a Time Span of 50 Years…
Indicating that TRNC had been experiencing not only water quality problems but also problems related with insufficient water resources, Professor Gökçekuş highlighted that bringing water by means of a water pipeline from Turkey to TRNC had become the main topic for an alternative solution. “Northern Cyprus Water Supply Project, considered as the project of the century, had been brought into life. Currently, 175 million cubic meters of water is annually carried from Turkey to Geçitköy Dam in North Cyprus via 107-kilometer pipeline. Almost half of the water (37.76 million cubic meters) is allocated for potable-household water. The remaining part (37.23 million cubic meters) is allocated for agricultural irrigation. Thus, the drinking water problem experienced in TRNC has been eliminated for a time zone of 50 years. The works on transporting the water from Geçitköy Dam to Güzelyurt through a tunnel for agricultural irrigation are ongoing” said he.

If Neighboring Countries, Notably Turkey, Use the Water and Hydrocarbon Card Correctly, the Eastern Mediterranean Will Turn Into a Peace Lake…
Emphasizing that energy safety is another issue that is as important as water and food safety, Professor Gökçekuş underlines that the Eastern Mediterranean has gained importance due to the potential natural gas reserves in the region. Considering the current situation, he also underlines the necessity of a proper water management. “Although Turkey is not a water rich country, billions of cubic meters rain water flow into the sea at the southern coastal areas. Turkey should develop projects and evaluate this water potential by supplying water to water-poor neighboring countries by laying new water pipelines like the one between Turkey and TRNC. By designing such projects, Turkey will increase her power in the region and will be able to play an active role on the Eastern Mediterranean hydro-politics. In short, if the neighboring countries, notably Turkey, use the water and hydrocarbon card properly, the Eastern Mediterranean will turn into a lake of peace, and everyone will gain from this” noted he.

Dr. Azhari Fatahalla Ahmed; “I feel the Happiness of Being in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus…”
In his remarks, Dr. Azhari Fatahalla Ahmed, the Nobel Prize winner due to his studies conducted in 2007 on global climate change, highlighted that climate change is potentially a major threat to the world’s environment and economic development by addressing the Paris Agreement, which is an agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change dealing with greenhouse-gas-emissions mitigation, adaptation, and finance. He also talked about the importance of computational technology, especially for developing countries, in making nationally acceptable and applicable regulations.

Dr. Azhari Fatahalla Ahmed expressed his happiness of being in a beautiful country like North Cyprus and thanked Near East University for organizing and hosting such a valuable conference.

The International Water Conference on Water Problems in the Mediterranean Countries (WPMC 2019) that Hosted by the Near East University Was Completed with an Intensive Participation…

Prof. Dr. James La Moreaux: “The Valuable Papers Presented at the Conference Will Be Published in a Special Issue of Springer…”
In his remarks, Professor James La Moreaux, the Chairperson of the Conference Scientific Committee, shared information on scientific publications and activities covered by Springer. He also gave the good news that the papers presented at WPMC 2019 organized by Near East University would be covered in a special issue of Springer.

Gönyeli Mayor Ahmet Benli: “This Conference Will Create Awareness on How to Manage Water…”
Undelining the importance of water management in supplying quality and adequate amount of water on the island of Cyprus which is situated in the arid and semi-arid zone, Gönyeli Mayor Ahmet Benli extended his appreciations to the Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering of Near East University for organizing such a significant conference which would raise awareness on how to manage water.

Highlighting the important role of water management program in managing potable water and tap water for Gönyeli, he stated that there was a need for effective municipal work as well as zoning plan for rain water management, aquifer plans and completion of water infrastructures in order to make practical and effective use of every drop of rain water.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mustafa Kurt: “Near East University is on the Top in the Field of Science, Art and Education…”
Highlighting that Near East University has developed phisically over years and covered gigantic and notable steps in the field of science, education and art, Associate Professor Mustafa Kurt, Vice Rector of Near East University, stated that Near East University Academicians had published more than 1,200 scientific papers in journals scanned in international indexes such as Web of Science and Scopus, and based on the number of publications by per academician, Near East University  ranked the 3rd among the universities in Turkey; and the top among the universities in Cyprus.

Gürkan Yağcıoğlu: “The Value that It Deserves Should Be Attached to Engineering…”
Gürkan Yağcıoğlu, the Chairperson of the Chamber of Civil Engineers, stated that we faced the problems caused by heavy and excessive rainfall in our country, where we had been experiencing water problems. He noted that the reasons of flood disaster that caused life loses for the first time had been investigated by the members of the chamber and a detailed report had been submitted to the officials. Underlining that transporting rain water to the sea could not be considered as success, he drew attention to the need of a proper water management plan and the preparation of risk maps.

Dr. Evren Yıldız Shared Technical Details Concerning “North Cyprus Water Supply Project” Designed to Transfer Water from Turkey to TRNC…
Dr. Evren Yıldız represented the General Directorate of State Hydraulic Works of Turkey in the conference with a presentation and shared the technical details regarding North Cyprus Water Supply Project designed to transfer water from Turkey to TRNC. He ended his presentation with a video show detailing all the processes of designing and executing the project.