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Water 2017, 9(1), 55; doi:10.3390/w9010055

From Flood Control to Water Management: A Journey of Bangladesh towards Integrated Water Resources Management

1
GFZ German Research Centre for Geoscience, Section 5.4, Hydrology, Telegrafenberg, 14473 Potsdam, Germany
2
Institute of Water and Flood Management, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, Dhaka 1000, Bangladesh
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Athanasios Loukas
Received: 6 November 2016 / Revised: 6 January 2017 / Accepted: 11 January 2017 / Published: 17 January 2017
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Abstract

Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) is considered as a practical approach in solving water-related problems, which are socio-ecologically complex in nature. Bangladesh has also embraced the IWRM approach against its earlier attempt to flood control. In this paper, we evaluate the current status of IWRM in Bangladesh through the lens of policy shifts, institutional transitions and project transformations using seven key dimensions of IWRM. Looking at IWRM from such perspectives is lacking in current literature. A thorough review of policy shifts suggests that all the key dimensions of IWRM are “highly reflected” in the current policy documents. The dimension of “integrated management” is “highly reflected” in both institutional transition and project-level transformation. Most other dimensions are also recognised at both institutional and project levels. However, such reflections gradually weaken as we move from policies to institutions to projects. Despite catchment being considered as a spatial unit of water management at both institutional and project levels, transboundary basin planning is yet to be accomplished. The participation of local people is highly promoted in various recent projects. However, equity and social issues have received less attention at project level, although it has significant potential for supporting some of the key determinants of adaptive capacity. Thus, the IWRM dimensions are in general reflected in recent policies, institutional reforms and project formulation in Bangladesh. However, to solve the complex water-problems, basin scale management through transboundary cooperation and equity and social issues need to be implemented at institutional and project levels. View Full-Text
Keywords: flood control; IWRM dimensions; policy shift; institutional transition; project transformation; Bangladesh flood control; IWRM dimensions; policy shift; institutional transition; project transformation; Bangladesh
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MDPI and ACS Style

Gain, A.K.; Mondal, M.S.; Rahman, R. From Flood Control to Water Management: A Journey of Bangladesh towards Integrated Water Resources Management. Water 2017, 9, 55.

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