Water

Bangladesh, India

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Climate

Bangladesh has a subtropical monsoon climate characterized by wide seasonal variations in rainfall, high temperatures and humidity. There are three distinct seasons in Bangladesh: a hot, humid summer from March to June; a cool, rainy monsoon season from June to October; and a cool, dry winter from October to March.

Population: 156.6 Million People (2013)

Water Problems

  • 97% of people in Bangladesh, however only 40% of those people have proper sanitation leaving the other 60% with unsafe drinking water.
  • The water levels in Bangladesh fluctuate due to heavy monsoons during the hot season.
  • Bangladesh's infrastructure is not equipped with sufficient water storage systems, so the water from the monsoons is unable to be stored.
  • 80% of all available water in Bangladesh is used for agricultural purposes.
  • Of the rivers surrounding Bangladesh, only 7% of their drain off points are accessible to Bangladesh.
  • The most readily available source of water, groundwater, is now unsafe to drink because it has become contaminated with arsenic.
  • One out of every five deaths in Bangladesh is caused by arsenic poisoning.
  • Rising sea levels are increasing the salinity (saltiness) of the freshwater rivers making clean, fresh water more and more scarce.

Main Source of Water

In Bangladesh, most of the water comes from the rivers that drain in, a small amount that can be collected from the monsoons and groundwater that has been contaminated by arsenic.

Water Collection?

Some water from monsoons is collected and stored to be distributed during droughts but most of the water is collected from rivers and harvested from groundwater wells,

Water Quality

The quality of water in Bangladesh is becoming increasingly poor due to rising sea levels overflowing into freshwater rivers and arsenic penetrating the ground and poisoning groundwater.

Attempts to Improve Water Quality

  • Equipment to store water from monsoons
  • Arsenic treatment options are being researched
  • Poisonous wells are marked to warn people
  • Modifications to river drains are being made to try and avoid sea level rises

Actions?

The WHO is taking actions in Bangladesh to improve the quality of water

  • More than 100,000 water "safe points" have been added
  • Arsenic treatments are being researched
  • Arsenic policies are being reinvigorated and enforced

Water Crisis in Bangladesh