Water Security in Bangladesh
Major General ANM Muniruzzaman, ndc, psc (Retd)
Bangladesh Institute of Peace and Security Studies (BIPSS)
Areas vulnerable to climate-related water
German Advisory Council on Global Change
Water Security of Bangladesh
The main sources of water in Bangladesh
are Rivers and Ground Water.
Almost 800 rivers in Bangladesh, most
rise from the Himalayan reign and fall into
the Bay of Bengal.
Bangladesh is situated in the deltaic part
of the region.
Bangladesh being a river-reign country is
largely dependent on natural sources of
water for living.
Water scarcity in Bangladesh has two
Dimensions; one is internal and the other is
Impact of Water scarcity in the North of
Concerns over water security in
Local Level Concerns
a. Filling in, occupation and converted into land
b. Restricted flow
c. Illegal infrastructure both private and public
e.g. in Dhaka, out of 13 canals, 5 have been
occupied by govt.
2. Pollution (tannery, textile, polythene)
3. Bio-diversity loss
a. No fish in Buriganga, Turag,
b. Disruption of
4. Human health
5. Inter-family Conflict
over water body reduce
National level Concerns
1. Unplanned water management
a. Under 653 water management scheme, BWDB
has constructed 12,000 km of embankment and
4,200 hydrological structure including sluice
gates among which 2000 sluice gate/control
structure (approximately) doesn’t work.
b. Focus on dry season rice production
c. Disruption of ecosystem flow
d. Loss of fish production
2. Unplanned road and embankment restrict flow
3. Poor embankment construction and poor maintenance
4. Arsenic contamination.
5. Salinity encroachment.
Arsenic presence in the ground water of Bangladesh
Sea Level Rise: Worst Case Scenario
Regional Level Concerns
BD-India Share 54 trans-boundary rivers
Unilateral withdrawal water by the upstream
Only 8% of water falls vertically on BD
230 rivers with tributaries and distributaries
8% area are permanent water body
30% area are flood prone
Huge sediment load.
River linking projects.
The map shows the Indian river linking
Challenges in Water Sharing
1. Too much water in monsoon and too little water in dry
2. Construction of Dam and embankment in the upstream
a. This is been threaten by upstream water
withdrawal and enhanced risk during flood
b. Farakka: A problem of limited water
3. Allocation of water in lean period is a major issue
Bangladesh Institute of Peace and Security