Water is irreplaceable, valuable and one of the most important substances for the sustainability of the life not only for human beings, plants and animals but also for the whole ecosystem. The surface and ground waters are utilized for domestic, agricultural and industrial aims. However, there is a dual pressure over water sources due to the human activities and natural changes. Especially, in the places where water shortage is experienced, over-population, immigration from rural areas to urban, food security policies, growing socio-economic wealth, agricultural, domestic and industrial based contamination, the changes in precipitation due to the global climate changes, affects the hydrological cycle. Thus, the water sources are exposed to some changes in respect of their quantity and quality. While demand for water has been gradually growing up, in water stressed areas, the water supply stays stable. While the problems on the management of water resources are experienced, on the other hand the effects of environmental problems on water resources are gradually increasing. Turkey and its close environment, especially, the Middle East are the most influenced regions by such problems.
On the other hand, Turkey’s relations with Euphrates-Tigris Basin riparian neighbours are very important when taken into consideration that Turkey has more than 40 percent of the water resources potential on the transboundary basins. In order to reach the political target which both Turkey and other riparian states pursue, of establishing regional stability, augmention of welfare and deepening the relationship among the neigbouring states, it is essential for all the parties, to have good faith and knowledge based active cooperation in the water resources utilization. In addition, during the process of Turkey’s EU candidacy, the agenda of harmonization of EU Water Framework Directive with her own national legislation will along with bring the future water policies to have a new content.
In accordance with the foregoing factors, “ORSAM Water Research Programme” was established on 1st January, 2011 within ORSAM, for the aim of presentation of the enlightening findings and the observations of the current developments on water issues of Turkey’s close environment and in the worldwide , to the public opinion and to the decision-makers, which have been acquired by means of analysis.
In the studies of ORSAM Water Research Programme, the Middle East engaged issues are given priority as there is a big increase in the political, economic and social problems, due to the both climate changes and inefficient utilization of water sources in the Middle East and as existing problems in the water budget.
ORSAM Water Research Programme aims to produce new ideas that offer different political alternatives on water issues, to encourage and diversify the qualified studies of competent reseachers and intellectuals from different disciplines in order to form vigorous solution offers and to support the development of water literature in Turkey.
In this scope, ORSAM Water Research Programme aims both, to facilitate the hosting of academics, the representitives of the non-governmental organizations, bureaucrats, statesmen, diplomats, strategists, journalists and businessmen, who studies on the water issues in region countries and to provide the sharing of informations and considerations of those, with the public opinion both in Turkey and in the worldwide.