Bangladesh’s Meghna to be model basin for flood forecasting

August 11th, 2008 - 3:58 pm ICT by IANS  

Dhaka, Aug 11 (IANS) Bangladesh is set to evolve a model for forecasting floods and rainfall starting with the Meghna river after which the other river basins of the country would also also be included in the proposed system. The 10-year plan has been initiated with Meghna and the first model is set to be complete by 2011, the Daily Star reported Monday.

Flowing as the Ganga from the Himalayas in India, the river acquires the name Meghna once the Brahmaputra joins it in Bangladesh and is the major river system of the country.

The plan is being initiated in view of looming impact of climate change, under the framework of the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) to improve sustainable water resource management in Bangladesh.

The GEOSS, an alliance of 52 governments, including the European Commission, is assisting the South Asian countries to improve the region’s water resources management through sharing data and information.

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

Joint Secretary of the defence ministry Brig Gen Shah Md Sultan Uddin Iqbal told BSS news agency that a committee had been formed and a cell comprising a number of organisations was working on the matter.

These organisations include the Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD), Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet), Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) and a number of NGOs.

Nazrul Islam, head of the synoptic division of the SAARC Meteorological Research Centre (SMRC), said that the earth system would provide Bangladesh with proper inputs for actual projection of climate change and the formulation of a planned climate change adaptation strategy.

Islam, however, observed that the SMRC required a high-powered server for long-time climate change forecasting. The server will help keep the planned Meghna model operational.

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

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