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A turkish fountain

Improving the monitoring of water quality


Situated in a semi-arid region, Türkiye is not rich in water resources and it is anticipated that it will be a water-stressed country by 2030. Surface water pollution, caused by domestic, industrial and agricultural activity, is a serious problem. Protecting the country’s limited water resources required the establishment of an efficient water quality monitoring system. Although a number of institutions were involved in monitoring surface water quality, better coordination was needed. Adopting the EU’s Water Framework Directive, which requires monitoring programmes in each river basin, would help protect surface water, thus fulfilling Türkiye’s international obligations and paving the way to EU accession.

The aims of the project and its core activities

The aim of this project was to enhance Türkiye’s capacity to implement the EU Water Framework Directive and thus contribute to the conservation of the country’s surface water.

This objective was achieved, with the help of a partner agency in a member state, by identifying and bridging the gaps between Türkiye’s water protection legislation and the requirements of the EU directive. In addition, the institutions responsible for water monitoring were reviewed and their training needs identified.

The next step involved conducting study tours and workshops for Ministry of Environment and Forestry staff and personal from stakeholder institutions so that they could benefit from the experience of others in implementing the directive. This allowed for the preparation of specific guidelines and manuals suited to Türkiye’s monitoring requirements and for the groundwork to be laid for an integrated national monitoring institute for surface water.

After the required software and hardware was installed, the directive was then applied to an existing monitoring programme, in the Büyük Menderes river basin. This approach provided valuable lessons in rolling out the directive to the rest of the country’s 24 river basins.


IPA I (2007–2013)


  • Budget: €4 million (EU contribution €3.65 million)
  • Province: Nationwide
  • Status: Ongoing (completion expected in 2015)