Reverse the trend from ground water to surface water
The level of groundwater in Dhaka city is has been dropping at alarming rates. A very large amount of ground water has been withdrawn due to the excessive increase in the needs of the city's 15 million residents. The consequent subterranean vacuum it is creating poses many threats and problems of land subsidence.
A substantial issue in this matter is that this problem has been known for a considerable amount of time but no concrete initiatives have been taken to begin resolving it. Previously, the vacuum created underground in Dhaka was recharged by water flowing from an aquifer from Gazipur in the north. However, these areas too are now experiencing extreme water depletion.
The magnitude of the problem can be understood from the fact that 87% of Wasa's piped water supply is from ground water sources with a paltry 13% from the surface treatment plants. It is a sad commentary on the state of affairs when Wasa's deep tube wells increased to 560 from 440 in 2004. By contrast, despite the persistent lowering of ground water levels, the number of surface water plants remains static. Add to this the level of pollution in river water and you have a full blown problem on your hands.
The answer lies in having installed all the surface water treatment plant on the drawing board -- Sayedabad second phase, one at Pagla and another at Khilkhet.
Two very significant solutions to this rising problem are rain water harvesting and cleaning the rivers in and around the city. In the first instance, very negligible investment is being made by government authorities to engage in rain water harvesting, a project which is only seeing interest by NGOs. As far as cleaning the rivers are concerned, it is safe to say that nothing is being done.
It is absolutely imperative that this issue be addressed quickly. Government initiative is needed rapidly to ensure that there are adequate projects to harvest rain water along with a massive campaign to clean up the rivers for the surface treatment plants.
Source:The Daily Star