Turkey extends from Europe to Asia over the straits of Istanbul and Çanakkale and borders Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Russia, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Iraq and Syria. Its total area is about 779,500km2, about 97% of which is situated in Asia and 3% in Europe. Turkey is surrounded by four seas, the Marmara, the Agean, the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. Total cost lines amount to about 8300km.
All water resources in Turkey are thoroughly observed and evaluated through the hydrological and meteorological network extended all over the country. There are 26 hydrologic basins in Turkey. The largest five basins with respect to yearly water potential are Euphrates (31.61km3), Tigris (21.33km3), Eastern Blacksea (14.90km3), Eastern Mediterranean (11.07km3) and Antalya (11.06km3).
The primary objective of projects built for developing water resources is the beneficial use and control of water supplies. The supply of potable and industrial water, irrigation, drainage, flood control, production of electricity, transportation,
protection and improvement of outdoor life and environment, arrangement of proper areas for fishing, hunting and tourism activities and recreation are all included in the scope of projects concerning water resources development.
Turkey’s ranking in the worldwide dams construction industry is not only due to the considerable number of existing dams, but also the remarkable features of some of those dams as well. For instance, the fill Atatürk dam is the sixth largest dam in the world as measured by its 84.5Mm3 volume of its embankment. Deriner dam, the construction of which was started in January 1998, with its height of 247m from the river bed, will be the fifth highest concrete arch dam in the world.
Yusufeli dam, at a height of 270m from the river bed, will be the second highest fill dam in its type in the world after Nurek dam (300m).
The existing dams have provided great benefits in flood protection, irrigation, hydroelectric energy, supply of domestic water, fish and wildlife and recreation. Turkey has a gross annual hydroelectric energy generation potential of 433,000GWh which is almost 1% of the total worldwide potential. Turkey’s has a 14% share of the total hydro power capacity in Europe . There are 120 hydroelectric power plants in operation in Turkey. These plants have an installed capacity of 11,588MW and an annual average generation capacity of 42,015GWh amounting to almost 34% of total exploitable potential, which is presently meeting about 35% of the electricity demand. At present, 34 hydroelectric power plants with an installed capacity of 3305MW and an annual generation capacity of 10,981GWh, which is almost 9% of total potential, are under construction.
Turkey has an enormous task ahead to complete full hydro power development. In the future, 329 more hydroelectric power plants will be constructed in Turkey to fulfil the remaining potential of 69,326GWh/yr, bringing the total number of hydroelectric power plants to 483, with a total installed capacity of 34,592MW.
Due to social and economic development in Turkey, the demand for energy and electricity is growing rapidly. In recent years, the average increase of electricity consumption in Turkey is 8-10% per year and it is projected at a similar rate in the coming years.
Energy is vital and a high priority in Turkey for sustainable development.