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The modelling and monitoring workshops of SWIBANGLA

Published on: 26/06/2014

The Managing Saltwater Intrusion Impacts in Bangladesh (SWIBANGLA) applied research project held two workshops in June 2014: one on groundwater modelling and one on groundwater quality monitoring.

Within SWIBANGLA, experts of Deltares together with the Department of Public Health Engineering (DPHE) and Professor Khairul Bashar from Jahangirnagar University prepared two workshops that took place in the beginning of June 2014. The workshops were:

  • Modelling Workshop: 3D Density Dependent Groundwater Modelling
  • Monitoring Workshop: Groundwater Quality Monitoring

The Modelling Workshop

The Modelling Workshop was held in the DPHE head office in Dhaka. In total 10 participants attended the workshop. Five participants were from DPHE, three from BRAC University and two from Jahangirnagar University.

 Figure 1. Inaguration of the project and presentation of SWIBANGLA

For a better understanding of the physical process of salinization a computerized 3D density dependent groundwater model for sea water intrusion in the coastal area of Bangladesh is being constructed. This model is called the SWIBANGLA model.

Questions that can be answered with this model:

  • Where are the fresh-saline interfaces?
  • How will it evolve in the following years?
  • What is the effect of the extractions in the vertical distribution of the salinity?
  • Guiding the positioning of monitoring and data collection
  • Guiding the positioning of extraction wells

The main objective of the modelling workshop was to introduce the SWIBANGLA model that Deltares is developing for the south west of Bangladesh, i.e. to thoroughly discuss its construction (input) and output. The model is built with iMOD, a modelling package that integrates SEAWAT and facilitates the construction of models and the visualisation and edition of input and output model data. A second objective was therefore to train the participants on using iMOD to build an modify the SWIBANGLA model. Every participant was provided with a USB stick containing a version of iMOD and iMOD tutorials. The USB stick also included a version of the SWIBANGLA model for participants to explore and do exercises with.  

Figure 2. Participants of the Modelling Workshop

 

Figure 3. Modelling course presentation

Conclusions

The groundwater modelling workshop was received well by the participants. Most of the participants were active in solving the iMOD exercises. Some of them intended to use the iMOD model for future modelling purposes. The participants got a clear idea of the construction of SWIBANGLA model, and the feedback from participants regarding the data used in preparing SWIBANGLA model were very positive. 

The Monitoring Workshop

This workshop was held partly in the offices of DPHE and partly in the field. Monitoring is an important prerequisite of water resource management. For increasing the understanding of salt water occurrence in the coastal area monitoring of hydraulic head and water quality parameters at different depths is very important. Different organisations in Bangladesh such as the Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB), Department of Public Health Engineering (DPHE) and Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation (BADC), have water quality and water level monitoring networks throughout the whole country.

The objectives of the water quality monitoring workshop were to suggest the parameters that need to be monitored, frequency of monitoring of those parameters and the possible location of monitoring wells in the coastal area. The objective of the fieldwork was to demonstrate how easily some health related water quality parameters can be monitored instantly in the field by non-technical people. 

A total of 17 participants joined the Groundwater Quality Monitoring Workshop. Five participants were from DPHE, two from BRAC University, two from the BRAC WASH program, two from BWDB, two from BADC, and one each from NGO Forum, Asia Arsenic Network (AAN), Water Aid, Geological Survey of Bangladesh and Jahangirnagar University.

Figure 4. Participants of the Groundwater Quality Monitoring Workshop

A total of 10 participants were present in the Groundwater Quality Monitoring Fieldwork which was held at Mirer Tek village near Banshi River, adjacent to Jahangirnagar University, Savar, Dhaka. Three participants were from DPHE, two from BRAC WASH program, two from BWDB, two from Department of Geological Sciences of Jahangirnagar University and one from Geological Survey of Bangladesh. As part of the fieldwork, SWIBANGLA prepared toolkits with different monitoring techniques to measure different parameters such as electrical conductivity, pH, nitrate, coliform bacteria, sulphate and bicarbonate.

 

Figure 5. Participants of the Fieldwork Groundwater Quality Monitoring Workshop

 

 

Figure 6. Roelof Stuurman discussing the monitoring of groundwater quality with the community

 

 

Figure 7. SWIBANGLA Water Quality Monitoring Kit

 

Conclusions

The groundwater quality monitoring workshop and fieldwork was well-received by the participants. Most of the participants actively took part in the discussion. They were highly enthusiastic about developing a systematic network for monitoring salinity and other parameters in the coastal area of Bangladesh.

A relevant outcome of the project are the recommendations. The most important one being that:

  • Data obtained from monitoring should be available to all users and there should be co-ordination among monitoring agencies. 

Managing Saltwater Intrusion Impacts in Bangladesh (SWIBANGLA) is one of six DGIS-funded applied research projects being implemented in the BRAC WASH II programme. SWIBANGLA aims to make the salinization issue an integral part of water safety planning in Bangladesh. 

Authors: Khairul Bashar and Marta Faneca