Australian news, and some related international items

Global warming affecting Bangladesh’s coastal communities – rising salinity

a-cat-CANNot proud to be Australian – we don’t act genuinely to stop global warming. We don’t treat refugees decently – and of course – we won’t be taking any climate refugees



climate-changeRising salinity threatens Bangladesh’s coastal communities – experts Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation – Tue, 13 Oct 2015  Author: Pantho Rahaman Reporting by Pantho Rahaman; editing by Jumana Farouky and Laurie Goering -the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, climate change, women’s rights, trafficking and corruption. Visit

“……..Climate change-induced alterations to sea level, temperature and rainfall are affecting freshwater supplies in low-lying coastal areas around the world, scientists and environmentalists say.

With more than a quarter of its population living in 19 districts facing or near the Bay of Bengal, Bangladesh is especially vulnerable, they say.

If access to fresh water continues to decrease at current rates in Bangladesh, experts warn, the country faces worsening drinking and irrigation water scarcity in the next few decades.

“Left unattended, 2.9 million to 5.2 million poor (people) in southwest coastal Bangladesh will face serious river salinity problems by 2050,” said Susmita Dasgupta, the lead environmental economist of the World Bank’s research department, in an email interview.


A study by the World Bank and Bangladesh’s Institute of Water Modelling (IWM) published last year paints a dire picture of the future of freshwater supplies for the country’s coastal communities.

In a worst case scenario, the study predicts that the area served by freshwater rivers – those whose salt levels measure less than 1 part per thousand – in the country’s 19 coastal districts will drop from 41 percent to 17 percent by 2050.

Researchers believe sea-level rise, rising temperatures, changing rainfall patterns and a reduction of water flow in the country’s rivers could add to river salinity.

Losing freshwater could mean “significant shortages of drinking water” and a lack of irrigation water for dry-season agriculture, the study said.

“The impact of the increase in salinity is already being felt by the local communities, as they now have to purchase water from water treatment plants run by commercial operators,” said Ainun Nishat, a noted Bangladeshi environmentalist and one of the researchers on the World Bank study.

A dramatic decrease in the area served by freshwater rivers would also do damage to the region’s fishing industry, which supports approximately a half million families, researchers said…..

Of Bangladesh’s 19 southwestern coastal districts, the study pinpointed nine already in danger of being unable to protect their freshwater resources.

Even in the best case, by 2050 four districts – Barguna, Jhalokoti, Khulna, and Patuakhali – may no longer have regular access to fresh water from rivers. And in a worst-case scenario, Pirojpur district could lose 100 percent of its fresh river water, while Bagerhat and Barisal could lose over 90 percent, the study said.

In addition, the study said, five districts will suffer a serious shortage of water for dry-season agriculture.

“This worrying change might lead to a migration of people from southwestern Bangladesh,” Nishat said……

October 16, 2015 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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