GNF - Lake Sapanca

Lake Sapanca – Turkey


Background Lake Sapanca

Sapanca Lake is located on a tectonic hole, which is situated between Izmit Bay and Adapazari Meadow and runs parallel to Iznik Lake. The forest area near to the coast of Lake Sapanca‘s south slopes has been heavily damaged and has left space for new kinds of small trees like maquis. Nowadays there are no more significant forest areas surrounding Lake Sapanca. Flow volumes of the streams, which feed the Lake are very low and many of them have dried up.


The catchment area is 251 sq. km [km²]. The length is 16 km from east-west, and 5 km from north-south. The water surface area is 45 sq. km [km²],  the maximum depth is 52 m. The catchment area of Lake Sapanca is surrounded by mountains in the south and small hills in the north. Water is taken from the Lake for domestic and industrial needs.

Lake Sapanca is one of the few lakes in Turkey, which provides drinking water, but it is exposed to heavy urbanization because of its natural beauty and its proximity to the metropolitan Istanbul. Natural forest lands in catchment areas have been vanishing quickly. There is pollution from highways near the coast and also from waste water from settlement areas around the lake. A negative effect on the trophic level of the lake has been observed.

Until now heavy pollution has not been observed in the lake, but nevertheless dumping of waste water from domestic areas should be prevented and no licenses should be given to factories.

The region around Sapanca has become very important for day trips and weekend vacations with its charming natural beauty.


Project measures Lake Sapanca

A feasibility report, an environmental management programme, as well as an environmental conservation programme are planned.
The project’s objective is to establish an environmental management plan for the lake, which will propose measures for pollution prevention and control. The result will be an integrated and sustainable action plan for Lake Sapanca with all possible funding sources.

Problems Lake Sapanca

  • Waste water from settlement areas and commercial facilities such as motels, restaurants, petrol stations etc.
  • Pollution coming from streams
  • Waste waters from industrial facilities around the lake
  • Agricultural pollution (pesticides, fertilizers)
  • Land based pollution sources such as highways and roads passing along the north and south shores of the lake.
  • Erosion problems caused by decline of forests
  • Pollution from fish farms along the streams
  • Motor boats on the lake
  • Waste from factories surrounding the catchment area of Lake Sapanca are a possible danger to the water quality.




Partner Organisation Lake Sapanca


The ADASU – Water and Sewage Administration has the status of an Administration of the Municipality and has been carrying out conservation work at Lake Sapanca since 2 years. Overall mission and goal of the organisation is to provide drinking water, to treat waste water, and manage sewage channel systems. ADASU is the authorised institution for the Sapanca Lake, which is the source of drinking water for Adpazari (it is the only lake in Turkey that has water of drinking quality). ADASU needs international support to develop an environmental management and conservation project. Therefore they are interested in getting in partnership with Living Lakes.


ADASU Water & Sewage Administration

Dr. Suleyman Kocbas (Project Consultant)
Adapazari Metropolitan Municipality
Adpazari – Turkey