Water for the Continuation of Life
Water affects all processes of life. Water is a molecule made of 2 hydrogen atoms and 1 oxygen atom and appears in nature in all three common states of matter (solid, liquid, and gas.) Water is the only material in nature that exists in all three cases. Despite the simplicity of the molecular structure, water has complex physical and chemical features that cannot be explained exactly. Water constitutes two thirds of the human body. Almost %75 of the human brain, %22 of human bones and %83 of the blood is water.
Water Cycle
Even if total quantity of water on earth is unchanged for many years, water always moves continuously in a closed system. Water cycle is water’s continuous process of circulation between atmosphere and earth. This process contains these stages, water come down to earth in the form of rain, evaporation or returning to the atmosphere via transpiration from plants or returning to the atmosphere via evaporation from seas with runoff flowing into the sea. Almost %97of the water aboveground is in oceans and seas; glaciers constitute %2; the rest of it spread to ground water, rivers and lakes.
Condition of Water Resources in the World
Two thirds of the world is covered with water; however, almost %97 of the world’s total water is salt water. Fresh water’s rate that is the life source of all creatures is only %3. Almost %70 of fresh water resources is in ice and glaciers; other parts of %30 are below ground. Superficial fresh water resources such as rivers, lakes constitute almost three per thousand of total water in the world. Water resources together increasing demand of water rapidly in parallel with the world population; are face to face with serious problems in terms of quantity, quality and other all sectoral usage. 1.5 billion People,      corresponding to almost %20 of the world population are deprived of enough drinking water. 2.2 billion People do not reach healthy water. According to World Meteorological Organization’s prediction, beginning from 2025 more than three billion people will be faced with water scarcity. The main reasons of water scarcity in the world can be listed as follows:
1. The scarcity of renewable resources amount
2. Incorrect and excessive usage of water
3. Decreasing of quota per capita amount of water with rapid population growth
When countries classified according to their presence of water; the countries that have average useable quantity of water less than 1.000 cubic meter quota per capita in year are described as “water poor country”; less than 2.000 cubic meter are described as “water shortage country”; more than 8.000-10.000 cubic meter are described as “water rich country”. In Turkey, quota per capita annual useable quantity of water is about 1.586 cubic meters and our country is not a water rich country that people thought.
The datas of General Directorate for State Hydraulic Works supposed that our water resources’ %100 will be used fertilely in 2030.  According to Turkish Statistical Institute’s predictions, the population of our country will reach 100 million in 2030. Available           population growth combined with the overconsumption and incorrect planning, Turkey quota per capita 1.100 cubic meter useable quantity of water will be a country that proceeded in the way of water poor country in and will be water shortage country in 2030.
Kure Mountains National Park’s Water Resources
Around Kure Mountains National Park, winter is cold, summer is relatively warm but the climate becomes hard towards interior. Rainfall is abundant in coastal region, less in interior areas. The average rainfall is 438 mm in interior areas and it is under the average of Turkey (642, 3 mm). In winter, land covered in snow stays two – three months. The hottest month is July (38, 7°C) in the region, the coldest month is January (-35°C). Number of rainy days is 120-130 days and the rainiest month is May. Kure Mountains National Park located in the western Black Sea has entirely plateau features. The National Park          in east-west direction and immediate environment take place within Western Black Sea karst (limestone) belt. In the national park, there are different examples such as a lot of canyons, straits, caves, waterfalls and dolines formed in consequence of eroding in this karstic structure and they have national and international importance. All rivers in the National Park flow northward and reach the Black Sea. The National Park’s most important rivers are Devrekani ve Şehriban (Aydos) rivers and they rise outside of the National Park. Some rivers such as Ulus and Arıt that are Bartın River’s branches rivers rise within the National Park and they go out of the boundaries. Some of them flow into the Black Sea passing through the boundaries of the National Park. Geological structure has a great influence in shaping the rivers within and around the National Park. Water resources in Kure Mountains National Park; Devrekani River, Koca Irmak River, Ulus River (Uluçay), Ulukaya Water Resource, Çöpbey Village Water Resource.
Devrekani River:
The most important river in the Kure Mountains National Park is Devrekani River. The river rises around the Devrekani town, firstly it flows the north of Ballıdağ in east-west direction. When it reaches to Azdavay, it unites with the Pınarbaşı River flowing from southwest, then it reach the Black Sea passing through Valla Canyon formed. The main branches of Devrekani River are total 146,7 km; outside the National Park boundaries are 95,7 km, within the National Park boundaries are 51 km.
Koca River
It is called as Koca River formed in the place where Devrekani River flows into the sea around Cide.
Aydos (Şehriban) River:
Aydos (Şehriban) River is located in the northern part of Azdavay, firstly it flows in east-west direction, it meanders around Dağlı Village in southeast-northwest direction and it reaches to the sea forming Aydos Canyon.
Ulus River (Uluçay):
Ulus River, also known as Uluçay, flows from the valley located in the southeast of limestone plateau in the north of Pınarbaşı-Ulus and the river unites with Bartın River and flows into the Black Sea. The main branch of Ulus River is about 98,1 km. The river has 78,9 km outside of the National Park boundaries, has 19,2 km within the National Park boundaries.
Arıt River
The other river around Ulus is Arıt River. This River unites with Bartın River in the west and flows into the sea. There rivers and their branches have an important role in the formation of geomorphology in the region.
Ulukaya Water Resource
The water resource forming Ulukaya Waterfall flows into limestone’s joint system.
Çöpbey Village Water Resource
Arıt River is located in north of Çöpbey Village within rainfall drainage area. This water source is moved to storehouse via water-distribution pipeline so the other some settlements’ and Arıt’s water demand are supplied. According to water samples taken; water resources in Ulukaya and Çöpbey Village and water resources in Devrekani, Aydos and Arıt Rivers have suitable standards for drinking water, tap water and watering. Low nitrate rates indicate that there is no pollution originating from agricultural and domestic. In the National Park, water is used for agricultural irrigation a little apart from drinking and tap water. Drinking and tap water is done from water resources a lot, agricultural irrigation is done from surface waters and water resources. For example; water resource in Çöpbey Village within Arıt catchment area is used for drinking and tap water in Arıt and some of the settlements. Agricultural lands are located in valley floors and seaworthy plains; too little water is consumed for the irrigation of these lands because of seasonal and climatic conditions. For example; some lands of the Gökçeler Village located in route before flowing into the sea of Devrekani River are watered from the Devrekani River.
Interventions of Water Resources
Although there are no settlements within the boundaries of Kure Mountains National Park, there are a large number of settlements in the buffer zone. In many of these settlements, it is insufficient or there is not any infrastructure. The lack of sewage treatment plant and solid waste collection system cause adverse outcome in terms of environment, landscape and public health around the National Park. In these settlements in the buffer zone, throwing trashes and domestic waste to the rivers   affect negatively plant diversity by the side of the river and the National Park. Karstic ecosystems around the National Park are fragile ecosystems especially against water pollution. Active caves are caves that continue formation process and they have water intake and discharge lines. Formations such as potholes, lakes etc. that consisted of forming with water within the cave are habitats especially        invertebrates. Discharging of wastewater without depurating to rivers and water resources in the region is a major threat for the National Park.
Karstic ecosystems in the National Park and the buffer zone are fragile ecosystems against water pollution. Active caves are caves that continue formation process.   On the subject of protecting limestones under the caves must be made legislative arrangement and must be ensured to be obeyed these rules. Like the domestic wastes of settlements in Kure Mountains National Park are moved to rivers, land fills must be gathered in the river nutrition areas. Therefore, pollution of surface waters in a short time, underground waters in the long run are inevitable. In this subject, there is a need urgent waste management plans. Local authorities in the area postpone this type of infrastructure projects and they spend energy for unplanned tourism infrastructures. Ecotourism is misunderstood and it causes   environmental pollution to the area with unconscious people transports.
Because karstic limestones are very permeable in the area, in order to prevent pollution of underground waters and to prevent spreading the pollution rapidly to the other areas, in these on limestones it must not be conceptualized the project land fills, if it made previously it must be removed as soon as possible. Local Authorities, especially the National Park and municipalities around the buffer zone must be informed about trash dump’s planning and determination. Experts’ informations must be gotten about how a trash dump is planned and determined and it must be given technical assistance to municipalities. There are administrative gaps and weakness about the National Park    field management. The management must be detracted from the social and political pressures; it must be turned into independent management from the current position. In man-made settlement relevant with the national park, ecotourism infrastructure must be started without resolving infrastructure problems as a priority.
A lot of projects have been carried out in the area up until now. However, there are no studies about improvement and protection of water resources. This issue should be focused on the study.