Water Resources Management

, Volume 29, Issue 12, pp 4269–4283 | Cite as

Moving from Resource Development to Resource Management: Problems, Prospects and Policy Recommendations for Sustainable Groundwater Management in Bangladesh

  • Asad S. Qureshi
  • Zia Uddin Ahmad
  • Timothy J. Krupnik
Article

Abstract

Increased groundwater accessibility resulting from the expansion of deep and shallow tube wells helped Bangladesh attain near self-sufficiency in rice, with national output increasing over 15 million tons in the last two decades. However, problems associated with the excessive exploitation of groundwater notably declining water tables, deteriorating water quality, increasing energy costs and carbon emissions are threatening the sustainability of Bangladesh’s groundwater irrigated economy. The forefront challenge, therefore, is to shift the focus from development to management of this precious resource. To ease out pressure on groundwater resources, attention must be diverted to further develop surface water resources. In addition to increasing supplies, water demand also need to be curtailed by increasing water use efficiency through the adoption of water conserving practices such as reduced tillage, raised bed planting, and the right choices of crops. Decreasing water availability both in terms of quantity and quality suggest that the unchecked expansion of dry season boro rice cultivation may not be a long-term option for Bangladesh. Therefore less thirsty wheat and maize crops may be promoted as feasible alternatives to boro. In addition to technical solutions, strong linkage between different institutions will be needed to evaluation strategic options and effective implementation of national policies for the management of groundwater resources.

Keywords

Groundwater management Bangladesh Water use efficiency Boro rice Tubewell Arsenic contamination 

References

  1. Ahmad QK, Biswas AK, Rangachari R, Sainju MM (eds) (2001) Ganges–Brahmaputra–Meghna Region: a framework for sustainable development. The University Press, DhakaGoogle Scholar
  2. Ahmed ZU, Panaullah GM, DeGloria SD, Duxbury JM (2011) Factors affecting paddy soil arsenic concentration in Bangladesh: prediction and uncertainty of geo-statistical risk mapping. Sci Total Environ 412–413:324–35CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Al-Masum RF (2012). Environmental contamination by CO2 emission through irrigation pumps. MSc. Thesis. Department of Farm Structure and Environmental Engineering. Bangladesh Agricultural University, Mymensingh, BangladeshGoogle Scholar
  4. Amarasinghe UA, Sharma BR, Muthuwatta L, Khan ZH (2014) Water for food in Bangladesh: outlook to 2030. Research Report No. 158. International Water Management Institute (IWMI), Colombo, p 32Google Scholar
  5. BADC (Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation) (2013) Minor irrigation survey report 2012–2013. Ministry of Agriculture, DhakaGoogle Scholar
  6. BARI (Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute) (2014). ASICT Division, Annual Research Report of 2013–2014. Ministry of Agriculture, Government of Bangladesh. DhakaGoogle Scholar
  7. BBS (Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics) (2013) Agricultural statistics yearbook. Dhaka, BangladeshGoogle Scholar
  8. BEB (Bangladesh Energy Board) (2012). Ministry of Water, Dhaka, BangladeshGoogle Scholar
  9. BGS/DHHE (2001) Arsenic contamination of groundwater in Bangladesh, British Geological Survey (BGS) and Department of Public Health Engineering (DPHE) Govt. of Bangladesh; rapid investigation phase, Final ReportGoogle Scholar
  10. BIDS (Bangladesh Institute for Development Studies) (2012) A citizen’s guide to energy subsidies in Bangladesh. BIDS and Institute for Sustainable Development Global Subsidies Initiative, Winnipeg, p 31Google Scholar
  11. Brammer H (2014) Bangladesh’s dynamic coastal regions and sea-level rise. Climate Risk Management 1:51--62Google Scholar
  12. BRRI (Bangladesh Rice Research Institute) (2000). In: Annual research review for 1999. XIX. Rice farming systems. October 9–12, 2000Google Scholar
  13. Cassman KG, Dobermann A, Walters DT, Yang H (2003) Meeting cereal demand while protecting natural resources and improving environmental quality. Annu Rev Environ Res 28:315–358CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Casta S, Sanz D, Gomez-Alday JJ (2010) Methodology for quantifying groundwater abstractions for agriculture via remote sensing and GIS. Water Resour Manag 24:4. doi:10.1007/s11269-009-9473-7 Google Scholar
  15. Chen JF, Lee CH, Yeh TCJ, Yu JL (2005) A water budget model for the Yun-Lin plain, Taiwan. Water Resour Manag 19(5):483–504CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Chowdhury NT (2010) Water management in Bangladesh: an analytical review. Water Policy 12:32–51CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Dey NC, Bala SK, Saiful Islam AKM, Rashid MA (2013) Sustainability of groundwater use for irrigation in northwest Bangladesh. Policy Report prepared under the National Food Policy Capacity Strengthening Programme (NFPCSP). Dhaka, Bangladesh. 89 ppGoogle Scholar
  18. Duxbury JM, Panaullah GM, Zavala YJ, Loeppert RU, Ahmed ZU (2009).Impact of use as-contaminated groundwater on soil As content and paddy rice production in Bangladesh. Food and Fertilizer Technology Center. Tech Bull 180Google Scholar
  19. FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) (2011) AQUASTAT: FAO’s information system on water and agriculture. Online: http://www.fao.org/nr/water/aquastat/countries_regions/BGD/index.stm
  20. Hossain M, Deb UK (2003) Trade liberalization and the crop sector in Bangladesh, Paper 23, the Centre for Policy Dialogue, Dhaka, BangladeshGoogle Scholar
  21. Jahan CS, Mazumder QH, Akter N, Adham MI, Zaman MA (2010) Hydrogeological environment and groundwater occurrences in the plio-pleistocene aquifer in barind area, northwest Bangladesh. Bangladesh Geosci J 16:23–37Google Scholar
  22. Jasrotia AS, Majhi A, Singh S (2009) Water balance approach for rainwater harvesting using remote sensing and GIS techniques, Jammu Himalaya, India. Water Resour Manag 23:14. doi:10.1007/s11269-009-9422-5 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kasem MA (2006) Evaluation of water management practices for different methods of rice production. PhD Thesis, Faculty of Agricultural Engineering and Technology, Bangladesh Agricultural University, MymensinghGoogle Scholar
  24. Krupnik TJ, Santos vale S, McDonald AJ, Justice S, Hossain I, Gathala MK (2013) Made in Bangladesh: scale-appropriate machinery for agricultural resource conservation. CIMMYT, MexicoGoogle Scholar
  25. Mazza R, La Vigna F, Alimonti C (2014) Evaluating the available regional groundwater resources using the distributed hydrogeological budget. Water Resour Manag 28:3. doi:10.1007/s11269-014-0513-6 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Mollah MIU, Bhuyia MSU, Kabir MH (2009) Bed planting—a New crop establishment method for wheat in rice-wheat cropping system. J Agric Rural Dev 7(1&2):23–31Google Scholar
  27. Mukherji A, Banerjee PS, Daschowdhury S (2009) Managing the energy-irrigation nexus in West Bengal, India. In: Mukherji A, Villholth KG, Sharma BR, Wang J (eds) Groundwater governance in the indo-gangetic and yellow river basins: realities and challenges. CRC Press/Balkema, the NetherlandsGoogle Scholar
  28. Panaullah GM, Alam T, Hossain MB, Loeppert RH, Lauren JG, Meisner CA, Ahmed ZU, Duxbury JM (2009) Arsenic toxicity to rice (Oryza sativa L.) in Bangladesh. Plant Soil 317:31–9CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Qureshi AS, McCornick PG, Qadir M, Aslam Z (2008) Managing salinity and waterlogging in the Indus Basin of Pakistan. Agric Water Manag 95:1–10CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Qureshi AS, McCornick PG, Sarwar A, Sharma BR (2010) Challenges and prospects for sustainable groundwater management in the Indus Basin, Pakistan. Water Resour Manag 24:8. doi:10.1007/s11269-009-9513-3 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Rajmohan N, Prathapar SA (2013) Hydrogeology of the Eastern Ganges basin: an overview. IWMI working paper No. 157. International Water Management Institute, Colombo, p 42CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Rahman MW, Ahmed R (2008). “Shallow tube well irrigation business in Bangladesh,” Paper Presented at Summary and Synthesis Workshop at Kathmandu, Nepal, March 20–24, 2008Google Scholar
  33. Rashid MA (2008) Growth Phase-wise Water Requirements of Rice, Irrigation and Water Management Division, Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI), Dhaka, BangladeshGoogle Scholar
  34. Shah T (2007) The groundwater economy of South-Asia: an assessment of size, significance and socio-ecological impacts. In: Giordano M, Villholth KG (eds) The agricultural groundwater revolution: opportunities and threat to development. CABI, Wallingford, pp 7–36Google Scholar
  35. Shah T, Debroy A, Qureshi AS, Wang J (2003) Sustaining Asia’s groundwater boom: an overview of issues and evidence. Nat Resour Forum 27:130–140CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Shamsudduha M, Chandler RE, Taylor R, Ahmed KM (2009) Recent trends in groundwater levels in a highly seasonal hydrological system: the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna Delta. Hydrol Earth Syst Sci 13:2373–2385CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Talukder RK (2008) Food security in Bangladesh: National and global perspectives. In Proceedings BKAS 13th National Conference and Seminar on Climate Changes: Food Security in Bangladesh, Vol. 13, Dhaka, BangladeshGoogle Scholar
  38. Venot JP, Turral H, Samad M, Molle F (2007) Explaining basin closure through shifting waterscape in the lower Krishna Basin, South India. Research Report. International Water Management Institute, ColomboGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Asad S. Qureshi
    • 1
  • Zia Uddin Ahmad
    • 1
  • Timothy J. Krupnik
    • 1
  1. 1.International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT)DhakaBangladesh

Personalised recommendations