Groundwater salinity intensifies our worries


A recent study of the Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) finds the high salinity concentration in the waters of southern districts of the country.

The onrush of brackish seawater could be decreased by the fresh water from upstream. But the flow of water has dipped due to the dams in the upstream in recent times.

The people of the region have been living in an unbearable condition. Salinity concentration in the groundwater of northern districts has also intensified our worries.

The reason for this high concentration of salinity in the water is the use of salt in fish farming in ponds. It is a matter of concern.

Experts on water, soil and the environment dubbed this finding of high concentration of salinity in the northern districts’ groundwater far away from the coastal areas as “surprising” and “dangerous”.

They think this salinity could widely affect the lives of the people of the areas including their potable water supply and agriculture.

According to media reports, the study was conducted on water samples collected from 100-feet depth of the ground near 49 ponds in six upazilas.


As per the Bangladesh standard, if the electoral connectivity (EC) remains within 2,000 microsiemens per centimetre water, it is potable, while the range for irrigation water is 3,000 microsiemens.

The groundwater samples were collected from nearby areas of ponds where salt is being used for a long period of time, from ponds where salt use is a recent phenomena and from ponds where no salt is used.

The study revealed that salinity concentration is higher in samples collected from the nearby areas of ponds where salt is being used for long.

We have destroyed crop fields through shrimp cultivation in brackish water in the southern districts.

Now we cannot endanger the agricultural activities in the northern regions by using a huge amount of salt in the name of fish farming in ponds.

Alternative methods have to be found to prevent fish diseases in northern areas. Salt cannot be used for that. Also we can use the experience of other countries in this case.