Elbistan has experienced a rapid development with intensive industrial investments made in last 25 years. In particular, the Thermal Power Station and the Sugar Factory constructed in 1984 has set the urban character of the district and became the main factor of population growth based on regional immigration. It the largest district of Kahramanmaraş Provinces with the industrial and commercial potential it currently owns.
In parallel with this population growth in Elbistan, infrastructural demands have also been increased. In order to meet these demands, the Elbistan Municipality has put into practice a series of projects for renewal of infrastructure and enlargement of services.
While there is no significant problem at present for water sources in Elbistan, there are infrastructure problems in distribution of water to people. Under the scope of water supply infrastructure, renovation of pumping stations, transmission lines between the source and reservoir and the problem lines in the network were considered to meet water demands within borders of Municipality more efficiently and safely. Additionally, construction of two new water reservoirs to provide the required pressures and water supply networks to regions opened for development.
When the projects are implemented, loss and unaccounted for water rate at networks will be reduced to reasonable levels: Water loss levels will be reduced to 25% from current predicted level of 60%. Water will be supplied to a region of 5% outside the network coverage. These projects, directed to network extension and renewal, are aimed to be completed in 2009.
These projects will be financed within the frame of Municipal Services Project carried out by the Bank of Provinces (Iller Bank) with funds of the World Bank. Municipal Services Project aims financing investments from the World Bank funds for use in water, wastewater and solid waste projects of municipalities with coordination of the Bank of Provinces. Purpose of this programme is to support municipal development in a sustainable manner.
Activities carried out under the project must be in conformity with effective Turkish Environment Regulations and Procedures. In particular the Environmental Assessment described in the Operation Policy 4.01 of the World Bank (The World Bank OP 4.0.1, 1999). Environmental Monitoring Criteria were established, meeting both Turkish and World Bank standards to monitor this conformity. These projects are evaluated in four categories according to these criteria. Elbistan’s project for rehabilitation of water supply network and its associated units is under category B with the Monitoring Criteria. Category B defines projects that are not listed in Appendix I and Appendix II of the EIA Regulation under Turkish legislation, but in accordance with the World Bank Monitoring Criteria there are site specific projects having impact (impacts are few, and are irreversible) on environmentally important areas. Preparation of an Environmental Management Plan covering construction and operation stage of the project in accordance with requirements of this category is the purpose of this study.