Dhaka and other large and middle-sized cities in Bangladesh suffer from severe water pollution. Most of the rivers in and downstream the urban areas have extremely poor water quality, due to discharges of (un)treated domestic and industrial wastewater, leaching from waste dumps and urban runoff. Environmental legislation and policies for water pollution control are in principle in place. However, there is a big gap between policies and the implementation and enforcement in practice. The poor water quality is a direct threat to human health and hampers the beneficial use (production of drinking water, irrigation, fisheries, recreation) and quality of the status of the ecosystem. There is an extreme need for capacity strengthening of the public authorities involved. Future developments such as economic growth, the increase of the population and climate change will increase the need for water quality management.
This project has the goal to provide a sound knowledge base for involved authorities to develop an integrated monitoring strategy, including emergency substances, as well as to strengthen their capacity on data interpretation and information management. Furthermore, tools for assessing water quality impacts and strategies for adaptive planning of water pollution control will also be developed.