Monitoring dry season irrigation by groundwater using STW and DTW in the northwest region of Bangladesh

The objectives of the Bangladesh component of the project is to understand the bio-physical, socio-economic and institutional aspects of groundwater irrigation in the northwest region of Bangladesh. The study is expected to provide the answers to the following questions:

  • How water and land productivity varies from plot to plot or from location to location and by different modes of irrigation? What are the reasons? How they can be improved?
  • What institutional arrangements are in place? What are their effects on the productivity/performance? How they can be improved?
  • What lessons can we draw for the sustainable and equitable management of GW resources that may be applicable in Nepal and Bihar?

For the primary data collection of the study we have selected 6 sites in Rajshahi, Pabna, Bogra, Rangpur, Dinajpur and Thakurgaon District for intensive monitoring of the groundwater irrigation by STW and DTW (Figure 1).


Figure 1: Approximate location of the project sites

The field monitoring started in November 2015, the beginning of the irrigation or Rabi season. A local person was appointed as Field Assistant and trained to collect the data from the field. Following data are collected from each field of the command area of the selected STW or DTW:

  1. Pump operation data (discharge, pump operation log, groundwater level, plots irrigated, etc.)
  2. Soil (infiltration and percolation rate, type of soil) and climate data (rainfall, other climatic parameters from the nearby climate station)
  3. Crop data (planting and harvesting date, type and variety of crop, herbicides and pesticides application, fertilizer applications, log of all activities in the field and their costs, yield, etc.)
  4. Socio-economic data of the farmers.

The irrigation season is almost at the end as farmers are harvesting the Boro rice. Other non-rice crops are already harvested. So the data collection in the field for this season (2015-16) is almost over. We will soon begin compiling and analysing the data. The preliminary results of the study will be presented in the mid-term Forum of the project scheduled during 26-30 September 2016 in Patna, India.

Some photos taken from the field during the project team’s visit (Erik, Mike, Mainuddin, Maniruzzaman, and Mahbub) are given below.


Photo 1: Dr Maniruzzaman of BRRI (right) with the Field Assistant in the site in Pabna


Photo 2: Checking the data collected by the Field Assistant in Bogra


Photo 3: Measuring groundwater level in Dinajpur


Photo 4: Discussion with the farmers in Rajshahi


Photo 5: A DTW site of BMDA (Barind Multipurpose Development Authority) in Thakurgaon


Photo 6: Rice and maize under irrigation by STW in Rangpur