Ankara, Türkiye – The amount of soil carried by rivers in Türkiye has been reduced to 154 million tons this year from about 500 million tons per year back in the 1970s, thanks to the afforestation activities, changes of irrigation techniques in agricultural areas, improvement of rangeland and erosion control studies. The target is to reduce the number to 130 million tons in the next five years.
In 2011, the project on preparing erosion risk maps and the development of sediment model has been implemented by the Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs General Directorate of Combating Desertification and Erosion in collaboration with the University of Ankara Faculty of Agriculture. As part of the project, water erosion projections have been created by using the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE).” To evaluate equation parameters quickly and efficiently, a Geographic Information System (GIS)-based software called Dynamic Erosion Model and Monitoring System (DEMIS has been developed in 2013.
Following the development of the model, several parameters have been calculated: rainfall parameter (R-factor) in 2015, vegetation cover parameter (C-factor) in 2016, and soil erodibility parameter (K-factor) in 2017. With the help of DEMIS software, effects of rainfall, vegetation cover and soil-water protection factors on soil erosion resulting from water erosion have been monitored. A Water Erosion Map of Türkiye, produced using RUSLE, has been shared with related institutions, universities, and research institutions. The data set produced by the General Directorate of Combating Desertification and Erosion will be used as a base in natural resource planning for various afforestation and erosion control projects that will take place in the future.