Parvin, M.
Hossain, S.
Rahman, A.



Year of Publication:



Unsustainable depletion of groundwater from Madhupur tract aquifer (underneath Dhaka and Gazipur city) is an extensive social problem in the North central (N-C) part of Bangladesh. Specifically, Dhaka city, the capital of Bangladesh, suffers from over-extraction in an unsustainable manner. In addition to this phenomenon, natural disasters such as drought are amplified by climate change is a widespread natural hazard in Bangladesh. This study presents the characterization of drought using selected drought indicators developed using ground and global model data in Dhaka district in the North central part of Bangladesh and explores the mutual connection between drought years and the maximum groundwater level depletion years. Meteorological (precipitation, temperature) and groundwater data were collected from the relevant institutions in order to develop and analyse the drought indicators, climatic trends, and the rate of decline of groundwater levels. Where ground based data was lacking, global model datasets were downloaded from the EartH2Observe WCI portal to compute drought indicator based on appropriate global data. Analysis of drought occurrence shows that moderate to extreme drought occurred sixteen times in the last thirty-three years in the study area, showing that the frequency of severe drought is high. National historical drought impact records show that drought occurred twelve times, although these are not any specified records for Dhaka, as the focus of the impact data is agricultural impact. The effect of unsustainable overexploitation has been observed for the last two decades because of the extra abstraction of groundwater for the domestic water demand in the Dhaka districts. This was accelerated not only by the demographic explosion but also due the occurrence of droughts. This study also opens a new horizon of thinking that it is not necessary to use the drought monitoring system only for the agricultural sector. Monitoring of drought is necessary for all the sectors where problems of sustainability may exist. Dhaka has no drought monitoring that looks at the scale of impacts. Drought however does occur in the city, and indirectly works on a system and create a negative feedback loop which leads to unsustainability.

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