Turkey Sustainable Urban Water Supply and Sanitation

Reaching Compliance with the European Union’s Water Framework Directive in a Sustainable Way: Challenges and Opportunities for Turkey’s Water Supply and Sanitation Sector

The World Bank, November 2016



Turkey has rich experience in managing water supply and sanitation services. The country has made significant progress towards complying with European Union (EU) water-related directives. This report provides a summary of the status of the sector. It shows to what extent service levels in Turkey compare to those in EU member states and non-EU countries in the Danube River basin.

The report argues that additional work should be done to further develop service provision. It presents potential ways to ensure that the efficiency of new investments and the performance of existing infrastructure to allow delivering on the objective. A high-level workshop, organized in October 2016, showcased that best practices already exist in Turkey and presented feedback based on international experiences in this regard were also presented.

The best practices focused on managing non-revenue water, the reuse of treated wastewater, sludge treatment optimisation, and new models of public-private partnerships. The authors believe these examples are worth scaling up or replicating in Turkey to help cope with increasing pressures on natural resources.

The report also evaluates the costs - both in terms of investment and operations - of compliance with wastewater collection and treatment requirements in Turkey, using six different scenarios. These scenarios represent different treatment standards and sensitivity levels of receiving water bodies.

The results illustrate what is called “the iceberg effect” - namely that focusing on investment costs exposes on the visible tip of the iceberg, while the submerged part of the iceberg represents the much greater cumulated operation and maintenance costs of investments over their amortization period.

One of the scenarios quantifies the additional cost of compliance with the provisions of the by-laws approved in December 2016, both in terms of investments and operations and maintenance costs, for each municipality and river basin, and the impacts of such investments over tariffs.

Finally, the report presents ways to improve investments and operations efficiencies, in order to limit the financial impacts of compliance on the water bills of consumers.