Turkey: rain prayer 'cheaper' against drought, says minister

Ruling out using drastic methods such as artificial rain bombs

21 February, 09:32

    (ANSAmed) - ISTANBUL, FEBRUARY 21 - As Western Turkey and Central Anatolia experience one of the driest winters in recent years, Waterworks Minister Veysel Eroglu has dismissed resorting to drastic methods such as artificial rain bombs, suggesting that prayers for rain are a more affordable option, as daily Hurriyet reports. "We are not considering using artificial rain bombs because this does not have a significant yield," Eroglu said, noting that the technique was tested in Istanbul at the beginning of the 1990s under former Mayor Nurettin Sozen, the predecessor to Recep Tayyip Erdogan. "In the end, it was us who paid the bill for the rain bombs that were been unsuccessful. So this is not an option. But we can still go for rain prayers, at least that does not have any cost," he added. Eroglu's statements came as the water levels in Istanbul's reservoirs continued to drop, at danger of dropping below 30% overall, the lowest level in 10 years, according to data from the Istanbul Waterworks Authority (ISKI). Data show that water levels in Istanbul have mostly stayed above 50%, except for a drop in 2009 to 30%. Experts have been warning that the lack of rain and snowfall in January and February could cause a significant water shortage in the summer if precautionary measures are not immediately implemented. (ANSAmed).

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