ISTANBUL, March 18 (Reuters) - Turkish police providing security for a water crisis forum in Istanbul say the cheapest way to keep protesters at bay is to use water cannons.
Government ministers from 120 countries, scientists and campaigners are meeting in Istanbul this week to tackle a looming global water shortage, which the United Nations warns will affect nearly half of the world’s population by 2030.
Turkish police, who on Monday fired water canons and tear gas to disperse protesters gathered at the start of the forum, told state-run Anatolian they prefer to use water because it is cheaper than tear gas.
Police officials said they normally use 13 to 14 tonnes (13-14 cubic metres) of water to disperse a crowd at a cost of 400 lira ($235). In similar circumstances, police have to use around 500 teargas bombs at a cost of 12,500 lira ($7,350), they said.