CSIRO researcher meets with Minister of Agriculture, Bangladesh

November 19th, 2019

The meeting

A photo showing the participants at the meeting

CSIRO researcher, Dr Mohammed Mainuddin (at left) met with the Honourable Minister of Agriculture, Dr Mohammad Abdur Razzaque (centre) and Chairman of the Barind Multipurpose Development Authority, Dr Akram Hossain Chowdhury (at right)

In late October, CSIRO researcher, Dr Mohammed Mainuddin, met with the Honourable Minister of Agriculture, Dr Mohammad Abdur Razzaque.

Dr Akram Hossain Chowdhury, Chairman of the Barind Multipurpose Development Authority (BMDA) organised and attended the meeting. Also supplying a generous floral tribute to CSIRO!

Dr Mainuddin briefed the Minister on CSIRO’s work in Bangladesh. In particular, how work on improved understanding of groundwater recharge, water movement and water use will aid the government in developing strategies for sustainable groundwater use and management.

The research

The northwest region of Bangladesh is the largest irrigated area in the country. This region supplies Bangladesh with 35% of all dry season rice – Boro rice and more than 60% of wheat and maize, helping to achieve food security for about 165 million people. Declining groundwater levels are resulting in the need to deepen wells which in turn increases the cost of water pumping, affecting drinking and irrigation water supply.

The project team aimed to determine the main causes of Bangladesh’s declining groundwater levels via hydrological modelling. By capturing the long-term changes in irrigation using remote sensing and crop survey data, and then analysing rainfall, evapotranspiration and groundwater levels, the team found that several factors were linked to declining groundwater levels. These included, reduced rainfall, declining deep drainage and increased pumping for irrigation and the degree of importance of these factors varied across the region.

Such variety of contributing factors highlights the need for a multi-pronged approach to addressing the root causes of groundwater decline and a single policy or management change like increasing the use of surface water for irrigation will not be enough to reverse diminishing groundwater.

About SDIP

This news post, designed and implemented by CSIRO, contributes to SDIP and is supported by the Australian aid program.

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:

  • strengthen practices for regional cooperation
  • generate and use critical new knowledge to enhance regional cooperation
  • improve the regional enabling environment for private sector engagement.

Find out more about SDIP in CSIRO by visiting our website

Find out more about the Bangladesh work in SDIP

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