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Groundwater Hydrology Directorate

Groundwater Hydrology Directorate an organisation under bangladesh water development board (BWDB). In order to meet the water demand for agriculture and other uses the exploitation of groundwater was felt necessary for design and construction of agricultural projects, tubewell development and to supplement industrial and municipal water supply etc. In March 1967 a team of United States Geological Survey (USGS) recommended for establishment of an organisation within East Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (EPWAPDA) to investigate groundwater development projects. Consequently, the Groundwater Circle (GWC) was created in 1970 to execute a scheme 'Groundwater Survey in Bangladesh'.

Groundwater Hydrology Directorate is functioning under the Chief Engineer, Hydrology within BWDB. The objectives of creation were: i) to make a general appraisal of the groundwater resources; ii) to collect geological, hydrogeological information ie groundwater table, bore log, aquifer test, water quality data etc; iii) to process the collected data and publication of technical reports; iv) to supply the data and reports to the end users for national water policy; and v) rendering advisory services to planners and designers of water resources projects.

The major functions of the circle are i) to survey the general groundwater condition and potential for development of the country; ii) to work as groundwater investigation and data collecting agency; iii) to perform pumping test on existing tube wells and test wells to determine water bearing character of aquifers; iv) to make basic data and the results of groundwater investigation available to all interested agencies and persons through release of basic data, publication of bulletins timely; and v) to establish a comprehensive training programme so that the Bangladeshi personnel could eventually take over the continuity of data collection and evaluation activities.

A Director heads Groundwater Hydrology Directorate and divisions are headed by Deputy Directors. Presently two division offices are under Groundwater Hydrology ie, Groundwater Division-I and Groundwater Division-II. The Jurisdiction of Groundwater Division-I are Dhaka, Chittagong, Barisal and Sylhet administrative divisions and Khulna, Rajshahi Divisions are within the jurisdiction of Groundwater Division-II. There is another office, Groundwater Processing Branch, under Processing and Flood Forecasting Circle. It involves with groundwater activity and is responsible for processing, analysing the collecting data and publication of different hydrogeological maps and technical reports. Actually this was the function of defunct Groundwater Circle-II. The fieldwork of divisional offices is managed by six Groundwater Subdivisions headed by Subdivision Geologists.

The directorate acts as the central groundwater data bank of Bangladesh and supplies data to the National Water Policy projects. On the other hand, GWC is playing a vital role in groundwater resource assessment and its systematic development within safe yield concept to promote crop production through groundwater irrigation. Apart from this GWC is also actively involved in present arsenic source detection and mitigation study.

The directorate possesses 24 low and medium category-drilling rigs supported with other accessories, two air compressors, two generators and 10 vehicles. They also published 52 hydrogeological yearbooks, 75 hydrogeological reports, 20 hydrogeological maps including hydrogeological map of Bangladesh and 10 technical manuals and guidelines. Government and other related organisation/agencies use hydrogeological data to implement various surface and groundwater projects in Bangladesh. [Md Alamgir Hossain]