Serpil Kurtay / DUVAR
A municipality's discovery of a new water source might be the solution to stop the depletion of central Turkey's Seyfe Lake, declared a natural protected area in 1990.
The municipality's use of streams that feed Seyfe Lake for drinking water has been among the primary reason for the drop in the lake's water levels, Nature Research Association Chairman Osman Erdem said.
"The biggest blow against the lake was the confiscation of its sources for drinking water. There's also farming in the area. There have been hundreds of wells drilled across Central Anatolia in the past two decades," Erdem noted.
The recent statement from the municipality has "been a hope" for locals that the lake could be rescued after all, Erdem said, adding that the drought has already caused great damage to local natural resources.
The lake used to be one of the most significant destinations for birds in Turkey to spend the winter, as it didn't freeze over, Erdem said, adding that up to 231 different species have been spotted near the lake.
"Thousands of birds would lay their eggs on islets on the water, away from their enemies. This used to be a major incubation location for flamingos in the 70s. We've lost all that," Erdem said.
The drought in the lake has also affected farming in the region, as the local climate has changed, and some trees have stopped bearing fruit.