12 Jun 2024, 19:55

Workshop on ‘water storage in South Asia’ held in Dhaka

DHAKA, June 12, 2024 (BSS) - A workshop on “Built Water Storage in South Asia” was held at a city hotel here with participation of water experts.

Bangladesh Water Partnership (BWP), International Water Management Institute (IWMI) and Global Water Partnership jointly organised the meeting, a press release said.

Md Rezaul Maksud Jahedi, Director General of Water Resources Planning Organization (WARPO), was present as the chief guest at the workshop with BWP President Moshiur Rahman in the chair.

Director General of Department of Bangladesh Haor and Wetlands Development Md Akhtaruzzaman and Executive Director of Center for Environmental and Geographic Information Services (CEGIS) Malik Fida A Khan spoke as special guests. 

BWP General Secretary Md Siddiqur Rahman gave the opening address at the workshop.

Speaking at the workshop, the water experts said in South Asia, increasing population is driving the rapidly increasing demand for water although largely unrecognised, declining water storage is a major contributor to local and regional water crises, ultimately threatening millions of people and many ecosystems throughout the region. 

They said natural variability in water availability with often too much water in the monsoon and too little water in the dry season is the reason why water storage throughout landscapes is a vital component of water resource management.  

Still, the experts said, decades of degradation of wetlands, watersheds and soils, sedimentation of reservoirs, and over abstraction of groundwater have undermined both natural and built water stores in South Asia. 

It was informed at the workshop that in an attempt to identify potential solutions, a joint project launched in January 2023. The project entitled “enhancing adaptive capacity and improving water security through water storage in South Asia”, funded by the US Department of State, aims to transform planning and management of water storage throughout the region.

The project has facilitated a series of meetings, informant discussions and field visits. This specific meeting was the fifth cohort meeting held with the participation of experts from water sector representing the government of Bangladesh, the IWMI, BWP and Global Water Partnership South Asia. 

The meeting provided a platform for the IWMI researchers to disseminate key findings on a policy and institutional study of water storage in Bangladesh and a study of water storage mapping and analyses. 

The national participants carefully evaluated and provided comments to improve the studies.

The ‘built water storage South Asia project aims to strengthen national capacities for integrated water storage planning and management and to enable relevant ministries and line agencies to make better use of data and approaches for understanding water storage gaps and the options to fill them. 

It is expected that these meetings will facilitate cross-border and regional dialogue to address water storage gaps in the South Asia region, said the release.

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