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Experts stress on creating water management system at the national level to combat water crisis

17 Jun,2014

Dhaka, June 17 (UNB/BdChronicle):

Experts at a water convention has underscored the need for introducing an integrated water management system at national level as the underground water level is depleting in an alarming rate due to the usage of groundwater, signalling a severe future crisis for the urban population.

WaterAid Bangladesh in collaboration with CSE-India, RAiN Forum and International Training Network Centre at Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet) jointly organised the 2nd Water Convention at Spectra Convention Centre in the city on Monday.

The experts emphasised harvesting rainwater and preserving those in separate reservoirs for further usages as one of the best alternatives to groundwater.

In his keynote paper, M Feroze Ahmed, Vice-chancellor of Stamford University, said only rainwater could meet the need of drinking water if preserved properly. “On an average, Bangladesh needs 160 billion cubic metre of water for drinking purpose while the yearly average rainfall is 200 to 250 billion cubic metre.”

Arsenic mitigation and other groundwater related complexities could be reduced through rainwater harvesting, he further explained.

Dr Md Khairul Islam, Country Representative of WaterAid Bangladesh; M Abu Sadeque, Director of Housing and Building Research Institute under the Ministry of Housing and Public Works; and Dr Abu Sayeed M Ahmed, President of the Institute of Architects Bangladesh were also present on the occasion.

“We need to acknowledge that by 2021, we’ll face an acute scale of crisis for water. To combat the situation, we need a comprehensive national capacity,” said Dr Khairul Islam.

Sayeed M Ahmed said, “We can’t go back to our previous and natural stage but we have to ensure that we enact proper laws to preserve the water sources what we have now.”

In his address, Abu Sadeque pressed for opting local-based research to develop the know-how. “People from outside our context can’t understand the reality. We need to develop context-suitable invention for water management towards a sustainable solution.”

Eight specialised study papers highlighting technical and social aspects of rainwater harvesting were presented at the convention.

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