Drastic fall in aquifer level

Devise measures to check groundwater depletion

Published : 27 Jan 2023 07:29 PM

Country’s many parts especially the northwest have already started witnessing a drastic fall in aquifer levels while the Jashore district appeared to be the worst victim of the phenomenon as the groundwater there went down by 35 feet with the onset of the dry season.

Villagers of the district are facing serious difficulties as most of their tube –wells, shallow machines and deep tube wells went out of order or were producing inadequate volumes of water due to a fall in the groundwater level there, according to media reports. They are not getting adequate drinking water while farmers are failing to irrigate their lands for Boro-Robi crop cultivation during this peak season. 

Apart from the northwest, a similar situation is also prevailing in many areas including Dhaka city, Gazipur and central Mymensingh district. The groundwater tables of those districts continued showing an abnormal declining trend over the years.

The unplanned withdrawal of waters for irrigation and drinking may accelerate the climate change process posing threats to ecology and agriculture sector. In Bangladesh, 80 percent irrigation water and 98 percent drinking water are collected from underground sources without proper study and planning.

Groundwater level in

 almost all parts of the 

country is also declining fast

The government should keep in mind that in 2021, Barind area’s (greater Rajshahi district) groundwater table had gone down abnormally and left people living there in untold sufferings and miseries caused by acute water crisis.

As the country does not have availability of adequate surface water, people are compelled to depend on groundwater to irrigate their crops land. Therefore, the groundwater is depleting fast and in some areas it has come below the suction limit of shallow tube well causing them inoperative during Boro paddy and Robi crops cultivation.

Groundwater level in almost all parts of the country is also declining fast from mean sea level due to its overuse and less discharge of rivers. Rapid decline in aquifer level is also inviting saline water which increases concentration of salinity in groundwater.

So, the government will have to enrich the surface water resources through canal and river dredging for lessening the gradually mounting pressure on underground water. When the canals and rivers will be brought under dredging for creating water reservoirs to use the conserved water for irrigation during the dry season pressure on aquifer level will decline.

Al concerned should ensure availability of surface water through canal and river digging programme and capital dredging in all major rivers in order to reduce dependency on groundwater. 

Besides, rainwater harvesting, controlling population growth and use of surface water for both drinking and irrigation can save the nation from facing catastrophic situation.