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Presented by : F.M.

Harunor Rashid Reg: 1200 ses: jan-june


Md. Tanzilur Rahman MS Student Session: July-December, 2011 Reg. No. 00795

A rapidly growing human population with its attendant needs for water, food and fiber supplies have resulted in global exploitation of available water and land resources. The constant pressure on available land and water has led to the development of many marginal resources. Heavy financial investment is taking place to allow these resources to be exploited. The environmental consequences of developing and overexploiting such systems can be major unless they are carefully managed. Salinity intrusion in fresh water supplies and the eventual degradation of both the land and water resources is one example of these consequences.

The coastal zone of Bangladesh

Bangladesh, a flood plain delta, is a land of rivers and canals. The country slopes gently from north to south, comprising about 710 km coastline. According to the Coastal Zone Policy (CZPo, 2005) of the Government of Bangladesh, 19 districts out of 64 are in the coastal zone covering a total of 147 upazillas Out of these 19 districts, 12 districts are contiguous with the sea or lower estuary directly. 1 Upazilla is the smallest administrative unit of Bangladesh. The coastal zone covers 47,201 sq km land area, which is 32 % of the total landmass of the country (Islam, 2004, p. xvii). Water area covers 370.4 km from the coastline (UNCLOS, 1982, Article 57), estuaries and the internal river water. The Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) is also treated as a coastal zone of its own.

The southern part of Bangladesh falls under the coastal zone that receives the discharge of numerous rivers, including the Ganges-BrahmaputraMeghna (GBM) river systems, one of the most productive ecosystems of the world. Except Chittagong and Coxs Bazar, all parts of the coastal zone are plain land with extensive river networks and accreted land. Figure 2 shows the contours of the country, indicating that almost one third of the landmass lies within the 4 m contour line. These vast areas of low-lying land are threatened by different levels of sea level rise

The total population living in the coastal zone is 35.1 million, i.e. 28 % of the total population of the country (BBS, 2003). Population density in the exposed coast is 482 persons per sq km as opposed to 1,012 for the interior coast. Average population density of the zone is 743 per sq km, compared with the national average of 839. Population density of the interior coast is much higher than that of the exterior coast and the countrys average. There are about 6.8 million households in the zone, 52 % of which are absolute poor according to Islam (2004, p. xvii). Fishing, agriculture, shrimp farming and salt farming are the main economic activities in the coastal area. The Sundarbans is a major source of subsistence for almost 10 million people

Physiography of the coastal area:

Tidal and estuarine floodplains cover almost 98% of the coastal area. Small areas (2%) with river floodplains and peat basins are found in the northern part of the coastal area. Tidal floodplains occur in Satkhira, Khulna, Bagerhat, Pirozpur, Jhalukhati, Barisal, Patuakhali, Chittagong and Coxs Bazar district. They cover a total of 18, 65,000 ha or about 65% of the coastal area. Estuarine floodplains occur in Noakhali, Bhola and Patuakhali districts and in the north-western part of Chittagong district. They cover about 9, 37,000 ha or about 33% of the coastal area.

Land characteristics and hydrology of the coastal region:

The coastal saline area lies about 1.5 to 11.8 meters above the mean sea level. The Ganges river meander floodplain systems are standing higher than the adjoining tidal lands. The tidal floodplain has a distinctive, almost level landscape crossed by innumerable interconnecting tidal rivers and creeks. The estuarine islands are constantly changing shape and position as a result of river erosion and new alluvial deposition. Peat basins are located in some of the lowlying areas between the Ganges river floodplains and tidal floodplains occurring in the western part of Khulna

These areas are subject to flooding in the monsoon season and waterlogging in parts of the basin areas in the dry season. Tidal flooding through a network of tidal creeks and drainage channels connected to the main river system inundates the soil and impregnates them with soluble salts thereby rendering both the top and subsoil saline. The most significant feature of hydrology in relation to agricultural development is the seasonal shallow flooding (up to 90 cm) which affects about 64% of the total area. In these areas flood water recedes from October to late December. Depending on topographical position and drainage facilities, water recede from about 24% area within October, from about 53% area in November and mid- December and from about 23% area in late December.



Salinity built-up: The main obstacle to intensification of crop production in the coastal areas is seasonally high content of salts in the root zone of the soil. The salts enter inland through rivers and channels, especially during the later part of the dry (winter) season, when the downstream flow of fresh water becomes very low. During this period, the salinity of the river water increases. The salts enter the soil by flooding with saline river water or by seepage from the rivers, and the salts become concentrated in the surfacelayers through evaporation. The saline river water may also cause an increase in salinity of the ground water and make it unsuitable for irrigation. The increase in water salinity of these areas has created suitable habitat for shrimp cultivation. Along with other factors,


Extent of salinity: Coastal saline soils occur in the river deltas along the sea coast, a few kilometers to 180 kilometers. The landscapes are low-lying land, estuaries and inland along the seacoast of Bangladesh. According to salinity survey findings and salinity monitoring information, about 1.02 million ha (about 70%) of the cultivated lands are affected by varying degrees of soil salinity. about 0.282, 0.297, 0.191, 0.450 and 0.087 million hectares of lands are affected by very slight, slight, moderate strong and very strong salinity respectively. Cropping intensity may be increased in very slight and slightly alkaline areas by adopting proper soil and water management practices with introduction of salt tolerant varieties of different crops. To mitigate the demand of fresh water for irrigation, especial emphasis may be given to adopt rain water harvest technology.


Salinity intrusion
The main impact of sea level rise on water resources is the reduction of fresh water available due to salinity intrusion. Both water and soil salinityalong the coast will be increased with the rise in sea level. A water salinitymap for the period of 1967 and 1997 produced by the Soil Resources Development Institute (SRDI, 1998a) shows that the problem already exists. Acomparative study of the Soil Salinity map of SRDI (1998b, 1998c) for theSea Level Rise in Bangladesh .Contours of Bangladesh and sea level riseperiod 197397 shows salinity intrusion in soil is much higher than watersalinity. The map shows that the soil of Jessore, Magura, Narail, Faridpur,Gopalgonj and Jhalokati had become salinized in the course of 24 years. A sealevel rise of 1 m will extend the soil and water salinity area at a faster rate.



Impacts of sea level rise
Bangladesh is highly vulnerable to sea level rise, as it is a densely populated low-lying coastal country of extremely gentle slope comprising broad and narrow ridges and depressions (Brammer et al., 1993). The World Bank Sea Level Rise in Bangladesh 377 (2000) estimates a 10 cm, 25 cm resp. 1 m rise in sea level by 2020, 2050 and 2100. This rise would inundate 2%, 4% and 17.5% of the total land mass of the country. Milliman et al. (1989; cited in Frihy, 2003) reported a sea level rise in Bangladesh of 1.0 cm per year. Subsidence also contributes to sea level rise in Bangladesh. The Ganges and the Brahmaputra deliver approximately 1.6 billion tons of sediment annually to the face of Bangladesh (Broadus, 1993). These sediments compensate for the natural compaction and subsidence of the delta and keep its size relatively stable.


Impacts on agriculture
Salinity intrusion due to sea level rise will decrease agricultural productionthrough the unavailability of fresh water and soil degradation. A World Bank(2000) study concluded that increased salinity from a 0.3 m sea level risewill alone reduce the net production of rice by 0.5 million metric tons. Anotherstudy by the Bangladesh Agriculture Research Council (BARC) estimatedthat land degradation due to salinity itself causes a net loss of 4.42 millionton of wheat per year, which is equivalent to US$ 587 million (Table 3).Sea level rise affects coastal agriculture, especially rice production in two ways. Salinity intrusion degrades soil quality which in turn reduces riceproduction. When the rice fields are converted into shrimp ponds, total riceproduction decreases accordingly. In the fiscal year (FY) 199798, the areaof rice production decreased by one per cent compared to the FY 199394,while the total rice production declined by 26 per cent during the salinity.


Impacts on ecosystem
The Sundarban mangrove forest is the largest in the world, located in the south west of Bangladesh. The area of the Sundarbans varies each year because of soil erosion or land accretion. However, its present area covers 6,500 sq km (FAO, 2003, cited in Islam &Haque, 2004). Sea level rise willcause rise in the salinity concentration in the water and soil of the Sundarbans.Increased salinity will change the habitat pattern of the forest. Sundari,the most typical kind of tree in the Sundarbans is thought to suffer from top dyeing disease because of increased salinity (Kausher et al., 1993).Aquatic organisms will migrate inward, because of increased salinity too.The Sundarbans will be completely lost with 1 m sea level rise (WorldBank, 2000, p. 63). Loss of the Sundarbans means great loss of heritage,loss of biodiversity, loss of fish resources, loss of life and livelihood, indeedthe loss of a very high productive ecosystem


Constraints for agricultural development:

It has been found that constraints increased with increasing intensity of salinity. Soil salinity is the most dominant limiting factor in the region, especially during the dry season. It affects certain crops at different levels of soil salinity and at critical stages of growth, which reduces yield and in severe cases total yield is lost. A substantial area of land is tidally affected by saline water. Appropriate management practice for crop production in this area is not available. Fertility status of most saline soils range from low to very low in respect to organic matter content, nitrogen, phosphorus and micronutrients like zinc and copper. The crop yields obtained in these soils are also low.


Scarcity of quality irrigation water during dry season limits cultivation of boro rice andrabi (winter) crops, and aus cultivation during kharif-1 (MarchJuly) season. Variability of rainfall, uncertain dates of onset and recession of seasonal floods and risk of drought restrict cultivation of aus and aman rice. Uncertain rainfall delays sowing/transplanting and flood damages aus and aman crops. Heavy monsoon rainfall causes delay in transplanting of aman and sometimes flash floods washes away the standing crop.


Narrow technological and germplasm bases for salt tolerant crops limit crop choices. On the other hand, due to extensive cultivation of a particular cultivar of crop year after year makes the crop susceptible to pests and diseases attack. Pests and diseases likehispa, leaf-hopper and tungro virus are prevalent in the region and extensive damage is caused by these almost every year.
In the coastal saline belt with short winter season timely sowing/planting of rabi (winter) crops is essential but this is restricted by late harvest of aman rice.


Managing Salt-affected Soils for Crop Production

Accumulation of excessive salt in irrigatedsoils can reduce crop yields, reduce the effectiveness of irrigation, ruin soil structure, andaffect other soil properties. This publicationis designed to help you evaluate the kind andamount of salts present in soils and to selectmanagement alternatives.

It will help you do the following : Understand how sodium, calcium, and magnesium affect soil structure Request appropriate soil analyses from commercial laboratories Interpret soil test data


Choose appropriate practices for maintaining productivity in salt-affected

soils, including: Leaching Amendments (kind and rate) Crop selection Cultural practices (e.g., tillage and bed Shaping to improve seed germination) Estimate costs and benefits of management Practices Successful salt management requires Frequent monitoring of both soil and irrigation Water. This publication focuses on soil Management.


Managing Irrigation Water Quality for Crop Production

Management of salt-affected soils is a challenge,because salts affect many processes: Crop growth (including yield, quality, and economic return) Soil physical properties (such as aggregation and water infiltration) Sufficiency and toxicity of nutrients Because many factors are involved in successful management of saltaffected soils, were commend that you work with a qualified consultant in designing a management program. Additional resources for management of salt affectedsoils are found in For more information This publication focuses mainly on practices for irrigated cropping systems.


Crop tolerance to salinity

Some crops are very sensitive to salts in thesoil solution, while others can tolerate much higher concentrations. How a specific plant responds to salts will depend on soil textureand moisture content as well as environmentalconditions such as temperature and wind speed.Electrical conductivity (solublesalt) values and the resulting expected yield reductions for various crops. For a sensitive crop such as onions, crop yield can be reduced by 10 percent when soil EC is 1.8 dS/m and by 50 percent when EC is 4.3. Barley, a salt-tolerant crop, experiences Minimal yield reduction up to an EC of8.0 dS/m. Even when salts are below the threshold values listed, some crop yield or quality loss may occur. When plants are stressed byother factors (e.g., drought, extreme weather, herbicides), they may not be as tolerant to salts. Salt-induced stress at critical growth periods for the crop may be more damaging than at othertimes during the growing season


Drainage is the unimpeded downward movement of water beyond the crop root zone. It is the ability to move water through and out of the root zone. Hardpans, bedrock, and shallow water tables impede drainage. Signs of poor drainage include surface ponding, slow infiltration, or a soil that remains wet for prolonged periods of time. A soil survey map can help determine where fields may have drainage problems. Digging within In most cases, poor drainage can be solved by breaking up a hardpan with deep tillage. If drainage is impeded by a shallow water table or bedrock, artificial drainage must be installed or another use for the land might need to be considered. The higher the EC of the water used for leaching, the larger the leaching fraction needs to be to lower soil EC. As a general rule, soil salinity (EC) is reduced by one-half for every 6 inches of goodquality water (an EC lower than the target for the soil) that moves through the soil. Thus, if the target zone is 30 inches deep and the EC is 1.5 dS/m, 6 inches of water should deeper than 30 inches to reduce the soil EC to 0.75 dS/m.


Other management practices

The expected yield reduction for several crops at various ECs. Use Table 4 to match the salinity level to crops considered suitable. Plants are most susceptible to salinity at germination, becoming more salt-tolerant as they mature. Where germination is the primary concern, leaching all salts out of the root zone usually is not feasible or required. Moving salts away from the germinating seed is all that may be needed Soils can remain productive even where complete reclamation is not possible. These situations require careful management and continual monitoring to ensure that productivity remains acceptable. For example, highly saline waste water generated from a coal-fired power plant has been used for irrigation with a combination of adequate acreage, water applied inslight excess of evapotranspiration, and use of tolerant crops (such as alfalfa and barley).



Our analysis of the aquifer indicates that the level of abstractions has resulted in stress on the water resource and it could become saline in the future unless the system is well managed. The Bundaberg analysis indicates that implementation of aquifer management practices can indeed prevent the degeneration of the aquifer over a long period of time. It is not only possible to prevent degradation by saline intrusion, but also to facilitate the recovery of water quality even to the point of eventually yielding potable water. The Ogawara river case shows that there can be positive aspects of salinity intrusion. In this case the breeding of clams in the high salinity areas is taking advantage of this natural phenomenon.