Water Scarcity in the Midst of Plenty
CPWF focuses its efforts in the coastal salt- affected areas of the Ganges basin (Bangladesh and India) which is home to more than 40 million people of which 60% of the population is poor and as much as 44% is extremely poor.
The Ganges Delta is facing increasing impacts both from climate change and pressure on its natural resources. Previous research in both the Mekong and Ganges delta have shown promising results that can scaled up for wider impact. Looking out from one of the CPWF field sites in the Gangetic plain it seems that there is water everywhere. But there are problems with too much water in the wet season and too little fresh water in the dry season. The challenge is to get more fresh water available for use in the dry season. This means storing it inside the polder. Governance questions then emerge because there is a need to decide who gets access to this scarce water.
CPWF sees the Ganges BDC presenting major opportunities to make a difference. Hydrology plus participation combined with good governance opens up technical opportunities to improve livelihoods through market driven opportunities including high value crops and aquaculture. Another challenge to address is the impact of climate change in this fragile area, which is often hit by natural disasters and also faces the prospect of rising sea levels. Providing farmers and communities with the ability to adapt and adjust quickly to changes in the environment is a central aspect of the work in the Ganges.
The Ganges Basin Development Challenge
Research into Use Project