30.06.2008 17:33 GMT+04:00

Professor Ali Fuat Dogu, the head of Yuzuncu Yıl University's
department of geography, has warned that the glaciers feeding water
to Lake Van, a closed lake situated in Eastern Turkey, are rapidly

Speaking to the Anatolia news agency, Professor Dogu said because
the highest altitudes in Turkey are found in eastern Anatolia,
most of the glaciers in the region are situated in close proximity
to one another. Dogu said that apart from the area's leading glacial
mountains, Cilo and Sat, and Mt. Ararat, they had also found glacial
masses around the districts of Gevas and Bahcesaray in Van. "These
glaciers are the main water sources for the region and the rivers
feeding Lake Van, and they now display a considerable amount of
melting," Dogu said, adding: "Our observations differ from previous
reports on these areas from 30-40 years ago. These glaciers cannot
survive another three years. We can clearly say that these glaciers
are disappearing quickly."

Professor Dogu said once the glaciers are gone, Lake Van will be
fed only by seasonal precipitation. "These glaciers used to balance
the resources of Lake Van with the water they stored during arid
periods. The water imbalance is likely to lead to a decrease in the
water level of the lake, which will cause a change in the biological
balance," he added. Professor Dogu also warned that every drop of
water should be used carefully and that measures should be taken to
prevent water shortages, Today's Zaman reports.

Lake Van is a saline and soda lake, receiving water from numerous small
streams that descend from the surrounding mountains. Lake Van is one
of the world's largest endorheic lakes (having no outlet). The original
outlet from the basin was blocked by an ancient volcanic eruption.

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