World Water Day was observed in the country on Tuesday as elsewhere in the globe with the theme ‘Groundwater-making the invisible visible’. The groundwater tables of different parts of the country including northwestern Barind region, Dhaka city, Gazipur and central Mymensingh district continued showing an abnormal declining trend during the dry season. Especially, the Barind region has become the worst sufferer as the groundwater there went down drastically in the past few years due mainly to ‘unplanned withdrawal of waters’ for irrigation and drinking.
Bangladesh ranks seven out of 10 countries in the Asia-Pacific region that extract the most groundwater, a recent UN report says. Ground water is the largest source of fresh water of the country and supply of drinking water, sanitation, farming and industrial activities depend on it. In Bangladesh, 80 percent irrigation water and 98 percent drinking water are collected from underground sources without proper planning.
Bangladesh ranks seven out of 10 countries
in the Asia-Pacific region that extract the
Apart from these, unchecked disposal of industrial and household wastes in the rivers are also polluting the water and destroying ecosystems as well. However, the government has taken measures to supply pure drinking water to grassroots people up to union levels to bring 90 percent population under its coverage.
All concerned have repeatedly been asked to harvest the rainwater and increase the use of surface water instead of ground water to check the risk of earthquakes as Bangladesh is an earthquake prone country. Besides, all stakeholders have also been asked to take effective measures to save the rivers from pollution and preserve the river water to use for drinking purpose. But no one pays heed to the government’s call.
Bangladesh Delta Plan-2100 has been formulated aiming to build a delta tolerant to climate change impacts and in this plan necessary instructions have been issued to demarcate regions of fresh groundwater and control the use of such water. With the implementation of this plan, Bangladesh would achieve the status of an upper-middle-income country by 2030 and a developed-prosperous country by 2041.
Therefore, rainwater harvesting, controlling population growth and use of surface water for both drinking and irrigation can help the nation halt groundwater depletion.