The uncertainties and inequalities of groundwater use in Bangladesh. 2012. Rammelt CF. In: Conservation in a Crowded World: Case studies from the Asia-Pacific, J Merson, R Cooney, P Brown (ed.), p. 147-166, Sydney: UNSW Press
Abstract: This chapter reflects on the notion of sustainable use of natural resources in the context of water management in Bangladesh. Polluted and irregular surface water resources have prompted a national shift to groundwater for both agricultural and domestic sectors in the 1960s and 1980s, respectively. About a decade ago, natural occurring arsenic was detected in the shallow groundwater supplies, putting at risk drinking water and food security for an estimated 20-60 million people. Although progress is extremely slow, the sinking of deep groundwater tube-wells seems to be the most popular response. The strategy is not without risk: this chapter explores how a range of geological, technological, political, institutional and cultural factors are likely to affect continued and equitable access to adequate water resources.