© Turgut Tarhan/Büyük Menderes Basin


Collective action in Büyük Menderes Basin, Turkey

The textile and leather industries are the leading industrial sectors in the Büyük Menderes basin, especially in the upper basin near Denizli and Uşak. Agriculture (including cotton production) is comparatively dominant in Aydın, which is located further downstream.

The basin holds 40 percent of the national leather production, while Denizli holds 60 percent of all textile exports of Turkey and Aydın province contains 14 percent of the national cotton production. The river delta has been recognized as an Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA) for breeding and wintering water birds.

The vision of the project is ambitious: “Through the implementation of Water Stewardship, this programme aims to serve as a model in the conservation and sustainable use of water resources apt to be scaled up to other basins in Turkey”.