Water scarcity is a major issue for agriculture in Turkey. Every Drop Matters focused on introducing water efficient irrigation and land management techniques.

The Gölbaşı, Ankara and Isparta regions of Turkey face a myriad of water challenges. Shortage of available water of adequate quality, caused by both resource scarcity and industrial and agricultural pollution, is reducing the amount of land farmers can irrigate for crop production. Groundwater, both scarce and saline, should be an unattractive alternative to depend on but is increasingly being abstracted. Climate change will make rainfall less predictable, and likely less abundant.

In its first phase, this EDM project supported rural development of the region by demonstrating solutions to improve water collection, storage and irrigation systems. Rain water harvesting units, as well as drip and sprinkler irrigation systems installed in demonstration sites (8,600 m2 in total area) at an educational facility, making it an effective hub for educating visiting farmers of methods to maximize the collection and efficient use of available water resources. In total, more than 90 farmers were trained in effective water management techniques and hundreds more were engaged through a series of local events.

The second phase of the project expanded the demonstrations of efficient irrigation systems, automation, use of alternative energy and rainwater harvesting. This included a pilot site featuring a water powered pump, solar power system and gravity fed low pressure irrigation system used to grow high value fruit and vegetable crops. This showed the potential for large water savings, with 7,631 m3 of water saved over a 0.85 hectare plot.

Further training sessions introduced 550 farmers to these technologies as well as the potential applications of automated timing systems, soil moisture sensors and remotely sensed data. Following the high levels of interests from the local communities to modernize their current practices, a much greater water savings across the region is expected in the near future.


Phase 1

  • 92 farmers and technical staff trained in agricultural water use efficiency
  • Drip irrigation demonstration systems installed in 4,200 m2 area for fruit and vegetable production
  • Water efficiency fixtures improved water usage in 44 households
  • Water harvesting systems at Ankara University were installed and upgraded.

Phase 2

  • Installed a water powered pump (WPP), solar power system and gravity fed low pressure drip irrigation systems on a demonstration site
  • Achieved a water savings of 7,631 m3 of water on a 0.85 hectare plot, demonstrating large potential advances in water productivity gains
  • Capacitated 550 farmers on the piloted farming and irrigation systems, as well as the use of automated timing systems, soil moisture sensors and remotely sensed data.
  • Engaged and presented demonstration results to 100 relevant stakeholders, including government authorities

Project detail

Title: Adaptation to climate change in Turkey through rainwater harvesting and effective water use – Gölbaşı, Ankara and Isparta regions
Implementation period: 2012-2015
Implementing agency: Ankara University Water Management Institute
Location: Ankara Gölbaşı and Isparta regions
Budget: 173,200 USD (EDM: 120,000 / Co-financing: 53,200)

The Gediz River Basin is one of the most fertile river basins in Turkey. Over the past decade, however, the river has become highly polluted. Pollution and water scarcity lead to farmers being unable to access clean water to irrigate their farmlands. The EDM project supported communities in the Muradiye region to increase rain water harvesting practices and improve access to clean water for supplementary irrigation purposes, and improve the livelihoods of local communities. It helped farmers use drip irrigation systems and constructed a rainwater harvesting pool for irrigation purposes. Improved livelihoods and economic opportunities in agriculture can have a profound effect on the region, slowing the need for people to migrate from their farms to other areas.


  • Supported farmers to use a drip irrigation system
  • Constructed a rainwater harvesting pool for irrigation purposes and provided training on their design, building, maintenance and use
  • Saved and stored 3,500 m3 of water during project period

Project detail

Title: More rain water more river water: rainwater harvesting for the Gediz Basin
Implementation period: 2011-2013
Implementing agency: Aegean Association
Location: Manisa Muradiye
Budget: 173,200 USD (EDM: 120,000 / Co-financing: 18,240)

Cihanbeyli, situated Konya Basin, is highly vulnerable to climate change. Its dry climate, low water efficiency and dependence on agricultural production poses large risks to sustaining local livelihoods and healthy ecosystems. Annual precipitation levels are less than half of Turkey’s national average, and climate change has led to extended droughts that are followed by heavy rains. This results in losses to soil productivity and farmers shifting to lower value but more climate resilient crops, which ultimately leads to losses in quality of life for the local communities.

The EDM project improved agricultural productivity through the demonstration of modern farming techniques and by raising community awareness of ecosystem services and the potential impacts of climate change.

A 306-hectare demonstration site piloted direct seeding, manure and vermicomposting, and crop rotation techniques across 14 farms. This site achieved a water savings of 97,000 m3, reduced pollution and costs associated from chemical fertilizers and maintained soil fertility, showing the potential for great gains that could be scaled throughout the region through improved agricultural practices.

The project also performed a mapping of ecosystem services and how they could be impacted under different possible climate change scenarios to generate awareness and adaptive capacity within the farming community as well as in local and national government authorities. By demonstrating the potential risks posed by climate change, and achievable solutions for more robust agricultural practices, the project contributed to more sustainable and resilient development in the region.


  • Improved agricultural productivity through the demonstration of modern farming techniques
  • Capacitated 53 farmers and saved 97,000 m3 through a pilot of direct seeding techniques on a 306-hectare demonstration site
  • Demonstrated manure and vermicomposting and crop rotation techniques to improve soil fertility and agricultural productivity
  • Educated more than 1,000 farmers on the piloted techniques and their possible applications
  • Raised awareness on value of ecosystems services and climate change risk and response strategies to over 38,000 people, including government authorities

Project detail

Title: Climate resilient agriculture and water in Cihanbeyli
Implementation period: 2014-2015
Implementing agency: Nature Conservation Centre
Location: Cihanbeylin, Turkey
Budget: 130,000 USD (EDM: 120,000 / Co-financing: 10,000)

Farmers of the Kahta region understand the issues of water scarcity and the problems that a changing climate will place upon them. As demands for water increases, and climate change makes supply more variable and less abundant, they must use water more efficiently to sustain agriculture in the future.

The EDM project in Kahta demonstrated advanced techniques to improve irrigation performance and optimize use of organic fertilizers through a series of pilot sites and workshops with farming communities. The piloted irrigation systems achieved a water savings of 30,000 cubic meter, which has the potential to increase savings exponentially if the technologies are taken up by others in the area.

A vermicompost facility, established at the Adiyaman University Agricultural Implementation and Research Centre during the project, now serves as a training center for farmers and students to promote sustainable fertilizer use. The project also established a help desk at the Kahta Chamber of Agriculture to provide technical support, information and knowledge to the local farming community, which has already assisted more than 100 farmers.


  • Installed drip irrigation systems on four hectares of land across eleven pilot farms in the villages, which demonstrated a water saving of 30,000 m3
  • Conducted workshops and consultations between local farmers with soil and irrigation experts
  • Established a vermicompost facility that serves as a training center for farmers on sustainable fertilizer use
  • Created a help desk at the Kahta Chamber of Agriculture to provide technical support, information and knowledge to the local farming community
  • Capacitated over 500 farmers on advanced farming techniques through trainings, workshops and site visits

Project detail

Title: Adapting Agriculture to Climate Change; Kahta (Adıyaman) Case for Efficient Water Management
Implementation period: 
Implementing agency: Nature Conservation Centre
Location: Adıyaman, Kahta
Budget: 129,500 USD (EDM: 120,000 / Co-financing: 9,500)

Partners and contributors

  • Aegean Association • Ankara University
  • Ankara University Water Management Institute
  • Nature Conservation Centre
  • Cihanbeylin
  • Muradiye Chamber of Commerce
  • Muradiye Municipality
  • Gölbası Food Agriculture and Livestock Directorate
  • Gölbaþý Chamber of Agriculture
  • Ankara Special Provincial Administration
  • Yasama Dair Vakıf
  • UNDP Turkey