Groundwater Irrigation in Bangladesh: Changing Modalities, Resultant Policies


December 21, 2022    
10:00 am - 3:00 pm


Pan-Pacific Sonargaon Hotel, Dhaka, Bangaladesh, Dhaka
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A National stakeholder workshop by IWMI- SDC-SoLAR project and CGIAR TAFSSA and Mitigate+ Initiatives

Co-partnered with IDCOL and NGO-Forum, Bangladesh


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Despite being one of the key drivers of food production and food security in Bangladesh, diesel irrigation is responsible for a rising fiscal burden on the state exchequers and environmental costs to the country. For the country’s energy security and given the government’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) under the United Nation’s Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC), Bangladesh should shift away from diesel irrigation to clean and renewable energy like solar. However, this transition is also unavoidable given the rapid electrification in the country and the proactive introduction of solar irrigation pumps toward the government’s commitment to green energy. With an emerging change in the modality of groundwater irrigation in the country, it is critical to understand how access to cheap irrigation may affect farmers’ income and agricultural production, as well as the implications on groundwater sustainability in the future.

  • The discussions will explore three key questions facing the irrigation sector in Bangladesh:
  • What is the impact of replacing diesel pumps with solar irrigation pumps (SIPs) and the scope of grid integration of SIPs in Bangladesh?
  • What are the threats to groundwater sustainability from cheaper irrigation sources, and how to tackle these?
  • What are the likely consequences of rapid electrification on the groundwater market?

Sessions will be enriched by interdisciplinary insights shared by key stakeholders from the energy, agriculture and water sector of Bangladesh, including from the Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development Authority (SREDA), Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB), Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation (BADC), Bangladesh Agricultural University (BAU), Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council (BARC), Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI), and the Barind Multipurpose Development Authority (BMDA), among others.


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