The program on “World Water Day - The Future of Water” organized by Istanbul Technical University (ITU) within the scope of World Water Day was held with the participation of our Rector Prof. Dr. İsmail Koyuncu, Prof. Dr. Zekai Şen, who is known for his important studies in the field, our Vice-Rectors and our students.

Speaking at the program, our Rector Prof. Dr. İsmail Koyuncu noted that the most important function of this day is to draw attention to the fact that the water crisis, which is increasing day by day all over the world, has become a phenomenon that threatens the sustainability of social and economic development, especially human life.

Reminding that 22 March was declared World Water Day in order to encourage concrete steps to be taken to protect and increase fresh water resources, Koyuncu said, “We know that there are around 2 billion people living in the world today who have no or very limited access to safe water. One of the key focuses of World Water Day is to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030. This goal is one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations (UN).”

Our Rector Prof. Dr. Koyuncu stated that these goals, which came into force in January 2016, are a universal call to action that includes the objectives aimed to be achieved by the UN member states by the end of 2030. He noted that these goals focus on the solution of social, cultural and ecological issues consisting of 17 main topics such as ending hunger and poverty in the world, providing access to clean water and sanitation, combating climate change, promoting quality education, responsible production and consumption. He underlined that the theme of this year’s World Water Day is “groundwater”.

The importance of sustainable use of water

Stating that water affects almost every field from food to energy, from agriculture to politics and directs decision makers, Koyuncu said, “Population growth, rapid urbanization and economic development are just a few of the factors that increase the demand for water, energy and food. Agricultural irrigation is the world’s largest consumer of freshwater, and more than a quarter of the energy used globally is spent on food production and supply. As we can see, this may also depend on the sustainable use of water.”

Underlining that Turkey is not rich in water, Koyuncu said that the current potential should be managed in the best way and transferred to future generations as clean as possible, and added that they established the ITÜ Sustainability Office to raise awareness about the importance of water in all segments of society.

After our Rector Prof. Dr. İsmail Koyuncu’s speech, ITÜ Sustainability Office made a presentation on the importance of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for ITÜ and the work to be done in the future. 

After the speeches of Istanbul Technical University student clubs on the importance of water in the “Young Outlook” session, our University’s retired faculty member Prof. Dr. Zekai Şen gave a conference titled “Water”. 

Stating that he has been interested in water science since his student years, Prof. Dr. Şen talked about the place of water in history, its strategic importance, its importance in nature, its scientific features, and the power of drought to change world history, and said that wastefulness is one of the biggest problems of our time. Saying that water has almost become a security issue for countries, Şen mentioned the importance of groundwater for Turkey and stated that this issue should be given particular importance.