Kök Projekt presents: Turkey Water Ecosystem Map 2021
As Kök Projekt, we are an agri-food startup accelerator and an innovation partner for the food, agriculture, and water sector companies. We conduct research, prepare reports, and follow agri-food ecosystem dynamics. We find it very informative to know the stakeholders in the sector. Thus, we created Turkish Agri-Food Ecosystem Maps. So far, in our “Mapping the Turkish Agri-Food Ecosystem 2021” series, we have published the Turkish Agriculture Ecosystem 2021 and the Turkish Food Ecosystem 2021 Maps. We dived into the water ecosystem for our latest map in the series of Mapping The Turkish Agri-Food Ecosystem.
When we created the Turkish Water Ecosystem Map 2020 last year, our ambition was to shed light on Turkey’s water ecosystem and make startups more visible. We used a data-driven methodology which allowed us to identify and categorize startups. We believe that keeping up with the sector’s stakeholders is vital to understanding its dynamics, so we created the Turkish Water Ecosystem Map Version 2021.
Water; Scarce and Valuable
When we look at the world map, we see a world of water. While water forms 70% of the planet, only 2,5% is fresh(1). We need water for life to go on; we use it in every aspect of our lives. Thus water is life. According to FAO statistics, agriculture is the biggest consumer of water in the world. Agriculture represents 70% of water withdrawals, industrial usage is 19%, and municipal has 11% (2).
Moreover, some foods require more water. When we consume food, we also consume some embedded water. This water can also be called ”virtual water(3).” Some types of diets are more water-friendly. Producing meat, milk, and other animal-based foods typically require more water than producing cereals and plants. For example, to produce 1 kg of beef, we need 15.400 liters of water. In comparison, this figure is 822 for one kg of apple (4).
With these statistics, we can say that the only way to secure our agriculture and food is to save our water.
In Turkey, water usage rates show similarities with the average world ratios. Agricultural usage consists of 74%; industrial and domestic use consists of 13% and 13%, respectively. Regarding water resources, with 1500m3 usable water per person, Turkey is in the category of water constraint countries. It is expected that population growth and climate change will further constrain our valuable water sources. Thus, we need to create a sustainable water ecosystem for the next generations (5).
Types of irrigation in agriculture;
According to TEMA Foundation, surface irrigation represents 82% of total irrigation, while rain-fed irrigation has a ratio of 17%, and finally, drip irrigation has only 1% (6). This graph shows how far we have to go and adapt new climate-smart irrigation methods to our irrigation systems.
Building The Map
As Kök Projekt, we are an agri-food startup accelerator, and we follow startups carefully. We work for empowering food, agriculture, and water startups. We believe that entrepreneurship, technology, synergies between players are essential to create a more sustainable environment. At Kök Projekt, we know that every startup contributes to a more sustainable, efficient, and resilient water ecosystem. We believe in the Turkish water startup ecosystem and trust that we will see more startups that become meaningful or sizable businesses each year. The news keeps us hopeful for the future. For the last several months, we have seen exciting and inspirational developments for water entrepreneurship in Turkey. One of them is BİSU, an online water delivery platform, received investment with USD 50 million validation(7).
As we began to create our map, we commenced from our startup databases for Turkey. First, we categorized the teams, looked for their primary purpose or value proposition, then organized them accordingly. Eventually, we placed them into four categories and listed them on our map. As a result, we have Smart Farming/Irrigation, Cleantech, Water Delivery, and Investors under the Startup section.
Climate change, increase in food demand create pressure on water resources. Therefore, we will see more startups working on climate and irrigation smart agriculture techniques in the coming years.
On our next step, we worked closely with Patent Effect, the team that supports technology-driven companies and research institutes to unleash the power of patents for creating an impact on their innovation journey, to define the Patentpreneurs: Startups who have at least one patent/utility model application. We mentioned patentpreneurs on our map.
As Kök Projekt, we are an innovation partner for the food, agriculture, and water sector companies. Thus we follow the corporates in the sector carefully. In recent years, corporates have also become quite active supporters of the water ecosystem, organizing and creating awareness campaigns about water. Hence in the third map, we have categorized corporate firms into nine sections as well. The list includes companies that are engaged in irrigation activities and tech giants like IBM and Microsoft, who’re also providing global solutions that combine technology and data.
You can reach our 2021 Turkish Water Startup & Corporate Ecosystem Map here.
This is obviously not an exhaustive list of all startups and corporate companies in the Turkish Water Ecosystem.
- Brussels Briefings, 2012, The Water We Eat, Retrieved from; https://brusselsbriefings.files.wordpress.com/2009/02/r16en.pdf,
- The Water We Eat, Retrieved from; https://thewaterweeat.com/,