Wastewater Management in Turkey


Turkey’s 10th Development Plan (2014 – 2018) highlights the various challenges in protecting the country’s water resources. The challenges include institutional shortcomings, fragmented legal frameworks for water resources management, lack of a common data collection system, and inadequate monitoring systems. Turkey also faces impending problems with water scarcity. The government plans to implement improved monitoring systems for both surface and groundwater resources.

By 2023, the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization is expected to finish implementing universal wastewater treatment in Turkey. In this plan, USD 50 billion will be invested in water infrastructure for drinking and wastewater. The Turkish government also estimates that about USD 2 billion must be invested annually in wastewater treatment projects to meet the standards set by the European Union (EU). Currently, only about one-quarter of Turkey’s 2,950 municipalities have a wastewater treatment plant. The lack of functional wastewater treatment plants is a subject of national importance because untreated sewage has polluted reservoirs and fresh water sources in many cities, including the capital city, Istanbul.

Wastewater Treatment plant_Turkey

Wastewater Treatment Plant in Turkey

In addition, the Turkish government also faces the problem of non-revenue water. To combat this problem, investments in water treatment technologies such as smart metering and leak detection technologies are required. The government also estimates that the private sector will be required to invest USD 15 billion in water treatment technologies to alleviate pollution to levels that are mandated by EU. The key industries that require wastewater treatment plants are mining, textiles, cement, iron and steel foundries, food processing, and automotive sectors and manufacturing industries.

The Action Plan on Climate Change has been drafted to outline the strategies that can be adopted to improve water efficiency and promote water reuse in Turkey. The government is currently revising the laws to integrate water efficiency practices and is developing a national strategy to promote the use of treated wastewater and sludge products in agriculture. This water management system can be expected to be implemented nationally by 2020.

Sewage Sludge

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