Govt aims to cut groundwater dependency for irrigation
The government is targeting to increase use of surface water for irrigation to 30 per cent of the country's total irrigation area by 2030 in order to reduce dependence on groundwater, according to a statement from the agriculture ministry issued yesterday.
The ministry also aims to reduce ground water usage for irrigation from the existing 73 per cent to 70 per cent of the total irrigated land, it said.
"We are giving importance to increase the use of surface water for sustainable use of water and efficient management of water resources," said Agriculture Minister Mohammad Abdur Razzaque at a seminar on digitalising groundwater monitoring.
The event was organised by Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation (BADC) at Shech Bhaban in Dhaka.
The government has implemented many initiatives, including the excavation and re-excavation of rivers and canals, construction of rubber dams and reservoirs with a focus on efficient water use.
As a result, the use of surface water is increasing and this initiative will continue, Razzaque said, adding that the cost of irrigation has reduced.
The BADC data shows that the irrigation area expanded by 10.50 lakh hectares over the last 10 years.
A total of 9,456 kilometres of canals have been re-excavated while 13,351 kilometres of irrigation canals have been developed and 10 rubber dams and one hydraulic elevator dam have been constructed, according to the press release.
As a result, the irrigation area increased to 56.28 lakh hectares.
Irrigation efficiency has also improved. Surface water for irrigation to grow crops increased from 21 per cent to 27 per cent while 63 per cent of the irrigable land of 76 lakh hectares has been brought under irrigation, the statement added.