|Groundwater Resources and Development in Bangladesh
Background to the Arsenic Crisis, Agricultural Potential and the Environment
Edited by A Atiq Rahman and Peter Ravenscroft
ISBN 984 05 1643 4 2003 494pp 248x176mm HB Tk.1000.00 US$40.00
Groundwater has been the main source of water for drinking and irrigation. It is also the source of arsenic poisoning that affects millions of people in Bangladesh. Despite its importance, very little information is available in the public domain on this enigmatic resource. On the other hand, vast amounts of information exist in unpublished project reports and the like. For the first time, this book brings together the key elements of this work as well as presenting an up to date perspective on the problems and prospects for the future use of groundwater in Bangladesh.
Drawing on a team on national and international experts, the editors provide a comprehensive and up to date account of the science and practice of groundwater resources and their development. Starting with an account of how geology determines where groundwater can be found, the book goes to discuss the controversies concerning how much groundwater is currently being exploited, and how much more water might be available for development.
The book explains how tubewell irrigation has been used to drive the Green Revolution in Bangladesh and some of the negative consequences that have accompanied unfettered development. Finally, the book concludes with an account of the arsenic crisis - its causes, extent and how it impacts on the health of the people, and the technical solutions that may be used to provide safe drinking water to the people of Bangladesh.
A Atiq Rahman is the Executive Director of Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies (BCAS). He taught and researched for over 15 years in British Universities including Oxford and Aberdeen. He coordinates the Global Forum on Environment and Poverty (GFEP) and is the Convener of the Climate Action Network South Asia (CANSA). He has been a leading global actor at the UNCED and the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), The Commission for Sustainable Development (CSD) and Global Environment Facility (GEF). He was closely involved in the negotiations on global climate change, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the Kyoto Climate Summit. He was the chairman of the Steering Committee of the Asia-Pacific National Councils for Sustainable Development (APNCSD), a member of the Global Scenario Group run by Stockholm Environment Institute and many other international initiatives. Besides his activities in Bangladesh and the Asian region Rahman is an Adjunct Professor at Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, Boston taught at MIT, Mass, USA and also leads a global programme on a New Initiative of North-South Dialogue on the Climate Change.
Peter Ravenscroft is a Principal Hydrologist with Geraghty and Miller International in Cambridge, UK. He is a specialist in the Development and Management of groundwater resources. He has worked on a wide variety of groundwater issues around the World. For more than ten years he worked on a variety of water and environmental projects in Bangladesh for Mott MacDonald Ltd. His special interests are the Hydrogeology of the Bengal Basin, tubewell irrigation and arsenic pollution of groundwater.