Monirul Islam and Tohid Islam, our local research partners in Bangladesh, visited CSIRO in Canberra and Brisbane in February 2019. Both are senior hydrology and hydraulic modellers at the Institute of Water Modelling (IWM). Monirul is working on groundwater modelling component of our Bangladesh project and Tohidul is working on surface water modelling.
The visit strengthened the water modelling collaboration and learning for both Australia and Bangladesh and is a win-win for the water modelling aspects of the project.
The visitors are part of a team of researchers from Bangladesh and Australia working together with policy makers in Bangladesh to develop tools and capabilities for improved integrated water resource management and agricultural (hence food) production.
The focus of the project is the north-west region of Bangladesh which has the largest area of cropping in Bangladesh and supplies about 35% of the irrigated Boro rice and more than 60% of the wheat and maize of the whole country.
The northwest region is also the region of greatest concern over falling groundwater levels, particularly in the Barind area, which have resulted in a lack of access to water for drinking and irrigation in some areas.
In the synergistic collaboration, the project team are developing a combined application of a detailed hydrological model for the north-west region of Bangladesh developed by IWM with a simpler, regional-scale groundwater model to undertake predictive analysis of impacts from future stressors like increased irrigation extraction and/or climate change.
The combination of water engineering capabilities and detailed models from IWM with tailor-made approaches for uncertainty analysis, integrated water resource management and climate research from CSIRO mean that scenarios in crop diversification and water management can be explored further.
This work is part of a portfolio of investments supported by the Australian Government addressing the regional challenges of water, food and energy security in South Asia.
The SDIP Phase 2 aims to improve the integrated management of water, energy and food in the Himalayan river basins, addressing climate risk and the interests of women and girls. It seeks to: