Activities Concerning the Environment

  • Article 56 of the Turkish Constitution in 1982 identified the concept of the environment. After the Environment Law was enacted in 1983, many regulations came into force pursuant to Article 31 of the Law. Of these regulations, those concerning DSİ are the Water Pollution Control Regulation and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Law. EIA work for water resources development projects are implemented by DSİ. Pollution research projects and water pollution maps are prepared in cooperation with other organizations. Environmental concerns stressed by international environmental conventions, such as the Convention on Combating Desertification, and the Ramsar Convention are taken into account in development projects. The necessary information, data and reports are prepared for continuous water resources quality monitoring (surface and groundwater in the whole country) activities. Major activities for rescuing the archeological heritage and for wetlands protection are as follows:

  • Rescue Projects for the Archaeological Heritage und

    er the Keban Dam Reservoir and Lower Euphrates;

    • Archaeological Excavations under the Tahtalı Dam Reservoir (İzmir)

    • Allianoi Excavations under the Yortanlı Dam ( Bergama)

    • Salvage Projects of Ilısu (Hasankeyf) and Karkamış Dam Reservoirs

    • Manyas Project (Balıkesir)

    • Eşmekaya Reedbeds Protection Project (Aksaray)

    • Ecological Protection Project for Mucur-Seyfe Lake (Kırşehir) and

    • The Sultansazlığı–Develi Project ( Kayseri)

  • DSİ attaches great importance to the protection of nature and wildlife, and conducts activities on “development of sustainable water resources”, both independently and in collaboration with other related governmental and non-governmental organizations. DSİ also provides technical and financial support to rescue our historical and archeological heritage for the generations of the future.

  • Implementation of the Water Framework Directive Project is going on within the framework of work directed at adaptation to EU regulations. The Büyük Menderes Basin Project has been selected as a Pilot Project, and the preparation work for the “Integrated Water Management Plan” for the Büyük Menderes Basin Pilot Project is continuing.

Flood Management Works

  • Building and operating protective structures against floods is one of the basic duties and responsibilities of DSİ. DSİ takes the necessary precautions and warns the relevant organizations in the event of flood emergencies.

  • The floods combined with the landslides experienced by Turkey on May 21-25, 1998, caused deaths, suffering, and extensive damage to both public and private property in the West Black Sea Region (WBSR). In order to combat floods, develop flood management, and reduce or eliminate long-term risk, the Government of Turkey, with the assistance of the World Bank , has developed the TEFER project (Turkey Emergency Flood Earthquake Rehabilitation) and loans of US$ 369 million, US$ 84 million of which is intended for DSİ projects have been allocated. The Government of Turkey secured this loan (World Bank Loan No. 4388-TU) from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD).

  • The TEFER Project involves the introduction of some technologies that are new in Turkey. Hence, the various activities have been implemented in the selected four pilot river basins, which are West Black Sea Region, Susurluk, Gediz, and Büyük Menderes. These four basins have been selected for upgrading of the DSİ hydro-met monitoring system and the development and testing of improved flood forecasting. Repair and reconstruction of the flood protection infrastructure in the WBSR have been an immediate priority for investment.

    • One of the sub-components of the TEFER Project is the modernization of monitoring, forecasting, warning and response systems. The implementation of this sub-component has been handled through Prime Ministry Project Implementation Unit (PIU) and through the following project implementation agencies namely, the General Directorates of DSİ, DMİ (State Meteorological Works), and EİE (Electric Power Resources Survey and Administration).
    • Being an integrated scheme, the above-mentioned sub-component of the TEFER Project includes both supply of some consultancy services, together with the necessary hardware-software and combining a series of different technologies in order to make forecasts for the above-mentioned pilot basins. Utilization of appropriate technology and design techniques allows prediction of the frequency, magnitude, and time of floods and provides early warnings to provincial and local authorities and the public against expected floods.
    • The above diagram shows the interface between TEFER Flood Forecasting Model and the telemetry system through the DSİ central data server. To establish the planned system, the following equipment and services have been procured, installed and put into operation. The complete system through this project consists of:
    • 208 automatic meteorological stations (AWOS) for DMİ;
    • 3 units meteorological Doppler radar;
    • 129 hydrological stations (HS) for DSİ; and
    • VSAT (Very Small Aperture Terminal) Satellite Communication Network. (356 VSATs& 2 HUBs).
    A s a part of TEFER Project, DMİ has implemented the supply and installation of a VSAT Satellite Communication network for the meteorological doppler weather radar systems, automatic weather observation stations (AWOS) and hydrological stations (HS). GİLAT Satellite


    • Networks Ltd. ( Israel) has been the firm responsible for supplying and installing the VSAT Satellite communication network system. AWOS data has been transferred from the DMİ data product server to the DSİ Flood Forecasting Centre (FFC) through the 2 Mbps line. This line is a terrestrial link between DSİ and DMİ based on frame relay .
    • Data transfer from radars, meteorological and hydrological stations to DMİ and DSİ headquarters is carried out by means of VSAT satellite communication technology using TURKSAT 1C. A band with a frequency of 6.75 MHz pertaining to the 54 MHz Eastern Coverage Area on TURKSAT 1C is used.
    • Radars have been installed in the provinces of Balıkesir, İstanbul, and Zonguldak. Meteorological stations have been installed in the western Black Sea, Marmara, and Aegean regions. The hydrological stations have been installed in the western Black Sea, Susurluk, Gediz, and Büyük Menderes catchments.
    • A Danish company (DHI Water & Environment) has undertaken the consultancy services to develop the flood forecasting model in the pilot regions. Consultancy work started on 30 th November 2001 and terminated on 31 st January 2003.

    • C onsultancy services have included the development of a flood forecasting model providing information on the current status of river levels and flows within catchments whilst also providing predictive estimates of flood flows and levels at given locations, within the accuracy of the data available. Data integration has become the highest concern of the model. This integration was achieved by incorporating real time-automatic hydrometric and weather data with real time quantitative radar data into a rainfall-runoff routing model. This flood f orecasting model selected for DSİ was adapted to local/regional conditions, adjusted by calibrating it, the results of the model were tested (model verification). Software for the model, staff training and testing the model in the pilot areas, etc. have all been within the scope of the consultancy services. A flood forecasting centre has been established and requisites needed to carry out these services more effectively, together with the staff who will be working in this centre have been determined.
    • Flood Management Works include the following three main sections and their subsections;

    A-Works to be done before the flood:

    • Installation of observation station;
    • Installation of warning systems;
    • Installation of communication systems; and
    • Preparation of flood plan.

    B-Works to be done during the flood:

    • Application of the regional flood plan; and
    • Coordination and application of the works not included in the flood plan.

    C-Works to be done after the flood

    • Determination of flood;
    • Taking temporary and urgent precautions; and
    • Determination of flood control facilities.
    Erosion and Sediment Control Works
    • Afforestation work and creation of recreation facilities by DSİ aim at prevention of erosion, decreasing the sediment amount deposited in dams through rivers, restoring the environment of dam basins and their catchments. Areas planted with trees also serve as public promenades and picnic areas.. According to the cooperation protocol signed in 2003 between the General Directorates of DSİ and Forestry and Erosion Control, an area of 20,000 ha will be afforested by planting 60 million saplings in four years. Using erosion control techniques will protect water and soil resources, thus more green country will be handed down to future generations.


    Erosion and sediment control structures constructed by DSİ helps to restore environment and to protect basin resources.


    Expropriation and Settlement

    • The DSİ General Directorate needs to obtain land properties (real estates) for water and land resources development projects. Up until today, approximately 520,000 ha of private land have been expropriated. Together with 200,000 ha of land obtained from Treasury and Forestry lands, the total land owned by DSİ has reached 720,000 ha, which is 1% of the country’s total land area. This area is equal in size to 20% of the total Netherlands’ surface area, while it is 22% of Belgium’s total surface area.
    • According to Expropriation Law No. 2942 (Amended Law No. 4650), value assessment commissions are established within the DSİ Administration Structure and if the expropriation price is agreed on, the money is paid within 45 days, in advance and in cash. If there is no compromise, DSİ goes to the Court and the price determined by the Court is paid to the landowners within 15 days.
    • DSİ expropriates the most land among the other public institutions in Turkey. Expropriation executed by DSİ in a year is almost equal to the total amount of expropriation implemented by other government agencies. In other words, DSİ uses approximately half of the governmental expropriation budget. DSİ expropriates an average of 20,000 parcels and 10,000 ha area per year. Averaging 10-12 shareholders per parcel, approximately 250,000 landowners are affected by expropriation by DSİ each year. Since interactive relations take place in the process, there is also a social dimension in expropriation actions.
    • DSİ expropriation services are met by transfer expenditures of the budget. In 2004, while the State expropriation allocation was determined as approximately 442 million YTL (New Turkish Liras) for the government budget, 130 million YTL of this sum was for DSİ’s expropriation works. In 2005, that amount was decreased to 112 million YTL.

    Land Consolidation

    • One of the most important components of successful irrigation projects is land consolidation. Important savings can be achieved if land consolidation is conducted first. By doing so, farmers obtain resource savings in terms of money, time and labour; therefore, profitable operating conditions commence and productivity increases in agriculture. Since land consolidation work also results in some services such as land levelling, drainage and other on- farm development investments, it helps to establish a modern agricultural infrastructure.
    • DSİ prepares irrigation projects and implements them. While GDRS conducts land consolidation work on national level, the General Directorate of Agricultural Reform can conduct land consolidation works only in the places declared as reform areas. Since land consolidation work conducted until now have been far from satisfactory, the DSİ General Directorate is now demanding a new law, which would give DSİ legal authority to implement land consolidation for its own projects.
    • It is possible for Turkey to compete with other European countries in agriculture by means of completing land consolidation work. While in EU countries, average farm size is 16 ha, it is only 6 ha Turkey; on the other hand, as far as agricultural lands are concerned, the number of parcels for each farm is over 6, and average parcel size is approximately 1 hectare in Turkey whereas average parcel size is between 1.8 and 4 ha in EU countries. In Turkey, realization of land consolidation work in irrigated areas was 10%; but it was decreased to 8% after the additional areas were equipped with irrigation facilities.
    • In Turkey, land consolidation work is done voluntarily as a result of these problems, and the hesitations of farmers restrict the success of the land consolidation measures. In this context, a new draft law proposal allowing DSİ to implement land consolidation for irrigation projects was submitted to the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources in 2003. Land consolidation would become compulsory with this proposal and up to 10% of land in irrigation project areas would be able to be expropriated free of charge.
    • If the new law were enacted, instead of paying expropriation compensation, DSİ would confiscate a certain percentage of land from land owners who benefit from irrigation projects, thus the irrigation project expropriation costs of the DSİ General Directorate would be decreased minimally.

    People Affected By Dam Projects

    Up to now

    -A ffected Families: 70,000

    - A ffected People: 350,000

    In the Future

    - Families to be affected: 50,000

    - People to be affected : 250,000

     Compensation for Expropriation

    -Families Resettled by State : 5,189

    ( not demandingexpropriation money )

    - Families not Resettled: 1,347 (demanding expropriation money and credit)

    • DSİ expropriates the necessary land properties while GDRS (pursuant to Resettlement Law No. 2510) implements the resettlement of people affected by Dam projects who wish to be resettled by the State. People not opting for resettlement by the State receive expropriation money and settle wherever they choose. Since an overall planned resettlement policy is necessary for successful planning, DSİ, as the owner of the main project, plans, coordinates and monitors the services related to this policy and actions. It is important to make plans to minimize socio-economic affects on people who have to abandon their land due to development projects.
    • Almost 350,000 people have been affected by DSİ projects so far. It is estimated that a further 250,000 people will be affected by envisaged projects in the future. Families affected by projects who opt for resettlement by the State may prefer rural or urban resettlement instead of expropriation money. Since GDRS conducted the resettlement works, expropriation compensations were being transferred from DSİ to this organization. However, GDRS was abrogated as of March, 2005. On the other hand, some solutions are implemented in the form of “movement inside the village boundaries”. In this case, families ask for both the expropriation money and a loan for the plot of land and housing construction.
    • With the approach mentioned above, resettlement action plans have been prepared for Ilısu Dam and HEPP, Yusufeli Dam and HEPP, Alaçalı Dam in Greater Istanbul Domestic Water Project. Resettlement action plans for other big- scale investment projects have been continuing.
    • The World Bank, international credit organizations and other foreign credit organizations provide credit for development projects on condition that resettlement plans for the projects have been made available to families to be affected by development projects. Since 1994, with the collaboration and support of the State Planning Organization, DSİ has been implementing, monitoring and evaluating Resettlement Action Plans. Special care has been taken with projects involving foreign loans and other large-scale investment projects to cover all families compensated with different methods.