People living in the country’s Barind region are experiencing acute water crisis due to drastic fall in aquifer level. The Barind region is the largest Pleistocene era pysiographic unit in Bangladesh covering most of Dinajpur, Rangpur, Pabna, Rajshahi and Bogra, which faces drought during every dry season for lack of water. The drought-prone area is turning into an extreme drought zone owing to scarcity of water due to the adverse impact of climate change and other environmental degradations.
Inadequate rainfall has been escalating the crises in the region for the last few years. Local meteorological office recorded 1,400 millimeters of rainfall in a year on an average in the Barind region for the last around 30 years.
Prospects of boosting irrigation by surface water is very bright in Rajshahi Barind area as it has scores of natural water bodies which remain in uncared and derelict condition at present. Transformation of all the existing underground water-based irrigation into surface water ones can be crucial for lessening the gradually mounting pressure on groundwater.
Time has come to extend
necessary knowledge and
devices to the communities
to make them capable of availing
the opportunities of rainwater
Rainwater harvesting can be indispensible for easing living and livelihood conditions of people through mitigating the water crises in the Barind area. Time has come to extend necessary knowledge and devices to the communities to make them capable of availing the opportunities of rainwater harvesting technologies.
Immediate initiative should be taken to provide round-the-year drinking water supply to the poor and vulnerable villagers. There is a shortage of drinking water in the region during dry season and the problem has become acute for the last couple of years.
The existing shallow water technologies become ineffective currently and demand for deep tube-wells has increased in the area due to rapid decline of groundwater level along with arsenic contamination in shallow aquifer in many areas. Villagers cannot withdraw groundwater as the water level goes down abnormally during every dry season.
Surface water conservation, managed aquifer recharge and afforestation can be the best way of protecting climate and water in the Barind area from further degradation. Climate change has already started posing a serious threat to the vital sectors like agriculture, fisheries, forestry, livestock, health and sanitation in the high Barind tract. So, there is no alternative to adopt effective measures to address the odd situation. Emphasis should be given on integrated water resource management, besides creating mass awareness about judicious use of both surface and underground water for reducing pressure on groundwater table in the dry area. Optimum aquifer recharge in the Barind tract is very important to protect its existing agricultural ecosystem through managing a groundwater basin efficiently and effectively.