RAJSHAHI, March 23 (BSS)- In addition to creating mass awareness about reasonable use of water emphasis should be given on reducing the pressure on groundwater table through increasing the use of surface water for irrigation purposes.
Prof Dr Mushfique Ahmed of Geology and Mining Department of Rajshahi University stated this while presenting his keynote paper in the discussion organized by Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (BELA) marking the World Water Day at a restaurant in Rajshahi city on Thursday.
He mentioned that the worldwide human civilization has been built centering the water as it is very important for sustainable living and livelihood condition. But the issue of availability of safe drinking water is being adjudged as crises globally.
Prof Ahmed said more than 60 percent crops are dependent on irrigation and 70 to 80 percent of the irrigated water are extracted from underground through above 20,000 deep tubewells and other pumps in the region especially in its vast barind tract.
Chairman of Barind Multipurpose Development Authority Advocate Nurul Islam Thandu addressed the discussion as the chief guest while Editor of Daily Sonali Sangbad Liakat Ali and District Training Officer of DAE Sirajul Islam spoke as special guests with BELA Rajshahi Divisional Coordinator Tonmy Sanyal in the chair.
The keynote speaker said water table has been declined to 5 to 15 meters in various areas due to unplanned and indiscriminate extraction of groundwater and the declining rate is being witnessed as alarming.
He cited that water table was 16 meters down in 1991 and the level has been downsized to 26 to 30 meters at present.
In the advent of dry season, he mentioned that most of the hand-driven tube wells become inoperative posing a threat to the commoners' livelihood in the region.
He said due attention should be given on using surface
water for irrigation purposes to lessen the pressure on ground
Among others, News Editor of Daily Sonali Sangbad Akbarul Hassan Millat, Senior Chemist of Department of Environment Mijanur Rahman, social worker Jamat Khan and development activist SKL Muhammad Lalon also spoke on the occasion.
The discussants advocated for building an effective programme to establish coordination among experts, the government and non- government organisation so they can put in their best and concerted efforts to formulate a time befitting plan for proper water resource management.
Besides, they also placed emphasis on proper management of the existing water resources to protect the region from ecological degradation for the sake of safeguarding the ecological balance along with survival of all living beings.