Meghna to be model basin for flood forecasting

In view of looming impact of climate change, a 10-year implementation plan has been taken under the framework of Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) to improve sustainable water resource management in Bangladesh.

The GEOSS, an alliance of 52 national governments including European Commission, is assisting South Asian 18 countries including Bangladesh to improve the countries water resources management though sharing data and information system as part of regional cooperation among the south Asian regions.

Bangladesh is going to evolve a model for forecasting flood and rainfall in the river Meghna. After completion of the Meghna model by 2011, country’s all other river basins will be brought under the model attuned to the Meghna.

As part of the move, Asian Water Cycle Initiative (AWCI) under the GEOSS, a comprehensive environmental data and information provider worldwide, has selected Bangladesh’s Meghna river basin as a model basin.

Ministry of Defence yesterday told BSS that a committee has been formed where a cell is working on it.

Joint Secretary of the Ministry Brigadier General Shah Md Sultan Uddin Iqbal said a number of organisations are working.

The organisations are Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD), Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) along with a number of NGOs.

Sultan Uddin Iqbal, who is also 2nd focal point of the GEOSS, said that under the cell a doppler radar is being installed in Moulvibazar district and it will come to an end by March in 2009.

Talking to BSS, Head of Synoptic division of SAARC Meteorological research Centre (SMRC) Dr Nazrul Islam said that the earth system will provide Bangladesh with proper inputs for actual projection of climate change towards formulation of planned climate change adaptation strategy.

Scientist Dr Islam, however, observed that the SMRC urgently required a high-powered server worth to be about Taka 12 crore for long-time and permanent climate change forecasting. The server will help keep the planned Meghna model operational.

A report of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) revealed that Bangladesh is vulnerable to climate change impacts where scientific and technical capabilities are must to cope with the climate change.

The IPCC report said that the global average temperature increase of 0.74 degree Celsius during the last 100 years leading to melting of good amount of snow and ice. The increase in the temperature eventually led sea level rise to 17 cms changing the global rainfall pattern.

It suggested capacity building of the country’s research institutions related to climate change for yielding comprehensive and scientific results on climate change impacts, vulnerabilities, adaptation and mitigation.

It read that if it continues at the present trend, the low- lying countries might face increase in droughts resulting changed coastlines and inundation.

As a result of climate change, Bangladesh and low-lying countries in South Asia will be the worst affected leading to hamper in the sustainable development in the SAARC states, the IPCC report observed.

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