The dam lake was built by modern Turkey’s founder Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in 1933 in a bid to meet the irrigation needs of northwestern Bursa’s agricultural lands.
Farmers say that factories and industrial estates built on the Bursa plain use water from the dam, causing serious drawdown.
“The dam’s misuse is putting our farmers in a tough spot. Factories and the [industrial zone] are given the agricultural water. We are not the enemies of the industry; it is indispensable. But our state needs to find a different solution to this problem,” Eyüp Kılıç, the head of a local agriculture chamber, told Demirören News Agency.
“Our farmers pay for this water. Why no investment is being done to the irrigation pond, which we pay for? We have world-known peaches and pears. Are we going to irrigate them with buckets?” Kılıç said.
“Before the factories and the industries, this pond was about to overflow.”
According to the figures Kılıç provided, the current wetland area has been measured as 3,000 decares yet the water depth is about 30 centimeters.
He also said that the bottom of the dam is “filthy” and needs cleaning as soon as possible.
“This dam is the source of life for Bursa,” he said.
Hurriyet Daily News