Gediz River Basin is located in western Anatolia in the Aegean region, neighboring the city of Izmir. It is located between N: 38°04’ – 39°13’ and E: 26°42’- 29°45’. It ranks as the second largest basin in the region with its drainage area of 18 000 km2 (2.3% of the total surface area of Turkey) and it has a population of 1,700,000.
Within the context of irrigated agriculture, 13 Irrigation Associations perform operations and maintenance duties over a territorial extension of about 110000ha.
The largest user of water has been irrigated agriculture. The predominant crops are cotton (50%), grapes (35%), maize, fruit orchards, and vegetables.
Irrigation currently uses a large share (83%) of the surface water resources (660 million m3) of the basin. Hydropower generation has no priority of its own and uses only water that is released for irrigation. Groundwater supplies account for roughly a quarter of basin water use, of which about 16% is for irrigation, and the remainder for urban and industrial use. Irrigation use of groundwater is largely static or declining as less-water intensive crops replace cotton.
There are serious institutional, legal, social and economic drawbacks which enhance water allocation and water pollution problems.
The major conflict in the basin is the competition among water users due to water scarcity, water pollution and mainly water allocation deficiencies on the national authorities’ part. In essence, there are basically constraints towards achieving objectives of the basin management. Institutional evolution is slow in comparison to rapid evolution in basin key problems. Legislation used in current management practices is too old and cannot meet current demands.