Interview with Prof. Dr. Cumali Kınacı, Director General of Water Management of the Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs
|Keywords||NWIS, national water information system|
Prof. Dr. Cumali Kınacı, Director General of Water Management of the Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs stated that many Turkish institutions and organizations on water management have tasks and responsibilities on water; and he also indicated that at least seven ministries have authority on this subject, and that they do not work in coordination while exercising these authorities. Prof. Dr. Kınacı, who stated that General Directorate of Water Management (SYGM) which was established on July 6th 2011 started to carry out its activities in order to overcome the lack on this field, highlighted that as a new institution, they aim at establishing a national policy by trying to gather many institutions and organizations in a more productive way.
What is the objective of establishment of the Directorate General of
Cumali KINACI: As the name implies, the General Directorate of Water Management was established to provide the management of water. Currently, many institutions and organizations in Turkey have duty and authority on water. At least seven ministries have authority on this subject, and that they do not work in coordination while exercising these authorities. Conflicts and overlaps take place while exercising the authority. Back in time, certain duties and authorities were assigned to different institutions in line with the requirements. Then, it was required to establish water management as a general directorate. Similarly, one of the primary requests of the EU Water Framework Directive is the establishment of General Directorate of Water Management (SYGM) as an organization, separate from investment organizations. In the current situation, General Directorate of State Hydraulic Works (DSI) is structured for investment, and it is also a party as it serves for investment. Water can be used for purposes of drinking and domestic, irrigation, energy generation, industrial, maintenance of wildlife, transportation, aquaculture, recreation, and touristic. Each of these consumers is found in separate places. Because a water resource could have a different priority when looked from DSI's point of view, a different priority when looked from an institution/organization's point of view, and again a different priority when looked from a citizen's point of view. An institution to evaluate all these purposes together, to put forward general principles, to coordinate, to develop legislation, and to set standard and criteria is required. Up till now, institutions/organizations have worked on the basis of separate projects. For instance, DSI built a dam, and it only worked on the issues related to the management of this dam’s basin. However, this project should be assessed as a whole on the basis on river basin. As for Sakarya Basin; it begins from Ankara and Kütahya and covers an area encompassing Adapazarı, Bilecik, and even a part of Bursa. Ankara creek, which passes through Ankara, flows from Adapazarı into the Black Sea through Sakarya River. In this basin, everyone uses water for different purposes. Some of them decrease the amount of water flowing to the downstream by drawing water from river for different purposes such as drinking, domestic, irrigation and industrial needs; on the other hand others negatively affect the water use of people, who live in lower part of the basin, by pouring their wastewater into Sakarya River. Therefore, it is necessary to consider and manage a basin as a whole. In line with all these objectives, the General Directorate of Water Management was established. The General Directorate of Water Management have started to work in cooperation with many institutions and organizations such as General Directorate of State Hydraulic Works (DSI), Turkish State Meteorological Service, General Directorate of Forestry, General Directorate of Combating Desertification and Erosion, General Directorate of Nature Conservation and National Parks, General Directorate of Environmental Management, General Directorate of EIA and Planning, Bank of Provinces, Ministry of Food,Agriculture and Livestock, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Interior which municipalities are affiliated to, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (on transboundary waters), Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) in particular. In addition to this, institutions and organizations such as the Water Institute and ORSAM are among other cooperative organizations.
We aim at decreasing the cost of monitoring by carrying out activities together, and also we aim at reaching data that could be used more effectively. After having these datum, establishment of a water information system is required. Every institution has different information, and this information is used in line with the objectives of each institution, and the institutions do not want to share these data. In accordance with the establishment law of our General Directorate, all the institutions and organizations are obliged to give this information, in case we request. We are going to gather this information and we will present them to requirers except for strategic ones. We need to make a new inventory study, and to collect raw information and to assess data and to save them into database. Hydrologic and statistical evaluations should be made on these data. Hydrologic models should be set up, and applicability of the current models to our basins should be anaylsed. We also requested for a new structuring on statistics and hydrology, and our request was approved by esteemed Minister.