Bangladesh is going through a period of rapid economic growth but it now has to sustain that growth: climate change, flood risk management and food supplies are major challenges. The country is in a dynamic delta with more than 400 rivers and a vulnerable, low-lying, coastal area, making it vulnerable to flooding and salinisation. It also has to contend with major water-quality problems and a rapid rise in demand for water. Bangladesh needs a coherent and coordinated long-term vision and plan, as well as pragmatic support to streamline financing and implement projects.
We have worked with the government to draw up both realistic and hypothetical scenarios for the future of Bangladesh. In ten separate delta workshops facilitated by designers and experts from both Deltares and the consortium partners, we collaborated with representatives from different regions in Bangladesh to define six 'hot-spot' problems and solutions.
We then drew on the results from nineteen sector baseline studies to set out the possible strategies for long-term development in the delta. The strategies deliver concrete solutions for the short, medium and long terms. For example, infrastructure is needed to make the country safer and more productive. This may involve improvements to irrigation, water treatment, drainage, river and coastal management, but also capacity building, participation and awareness.
Bangladesh is expecting to allocate several billion euros a year to a Delta Fund for the implementation of the plan. Parliament passed a new Delta Act in 2016 to that effect.
Deltares supports Bangladesh in making its own Delta plan. By understanding the natural system in the delta and how it reacts to interventions for one, but also how this can be done in the uncertain future. Together we envisage what the future could become with scenarios so that we can plan ahead.
Due to its geographical location Bangladesh is vulnerable to calamities and our future challenges are even more uncertain. As knowledge develops our country’s plans need to be modified also. To be able to do this we seek the knowledge and support of The Netherlands and Deltares.
In this project Deltares worked together with the following partners: