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Area: 5888268 km2
Brazil; Peru; Suriname; France; Colombia; Guyana; Bolivia; Venezuela; Ecuador
Santa Cruz; Manaus; La Paz
HydroBasin Level:
Baseline Water Stress:
Water Quality Stress:
Sanitation Access Stress:
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3.05 out of 5
WWF Country Risk Score
37 out of 248 Countries
WWF Country Rank
Total Organizations: 22
Total Projects: 19
Priority SDGs: Sustainable Agriculture (SDG 2.4)
Increase Access to Water, Sanitation, Hygiene (SDG 6.1 & 6.2)
Water Quality (SDG 6.3)
Water Use Efficiency (SDG 6.4)
Integrated Water Resource Management (SDG 6.5)
Protect and Restore Ecosystems (SDG 6.6)
International Cooperation and Capacity Building (SDG 6.a)
Stakeholder Participation (SDG 6.b)
Priority Regions: --
Priority Industries: --
Organization Types:
NGO / Civil Society
International Organization
Individual / Sole Proprietor
Multi-stakeholder Organization
Profile Completion: 82%

Water-Related Challenge Costs

Total annual estimated cost to address all water-related challenges: $7,173,242,526.00

Share of total annual estimated cost to address each individual challenge (2015 $USD):

  • Access to Drinking Water: $1,276,450,229.00 - [18%]
  • Access to Sanitation: $1,367,818,666.00 - [19%]
  • Industrial Pollution: $54,460,621.00 - [1%]
  • Agricultural Pollution: $548,253,660.00 - [8%]
  • Water Scarcity: $2,730,718,930.00 - [38%]
  • Water Management: $1,195,540,421.00 - [17%]

For more about this data, see information on WRI’s Achieving Abundance dataset here.

Water Challenges

As reported by organizations on the Hub.

Access to Water Supply and Water Services
Local Water Resource Governance
Compliance with Local Regulations and Widely-Accepted Standards
Land Use Issues
Physical water supply
Water Demand and Competition among Users

Country Overview

1.1.1.WATER RESOURCES The Meghna River flows southwest, draining eastern Bangladesh and the hills of Assam, Tripura and Meghalay in India to join the Padma river at Chandpur. The Meghna then flows south for 160km and discharges into the Bay of Bengal. The combined discharge of the three main rivers is among the highest in the world. Peak discharges are of the order of 100,000m3/s in the Brahmaputra, 75,000m3/s in the Ganges, 20,000m3/s in the upper Meghna and 160,000m3/s in the lower Meghna. There are 230 rivers criss-crossing the country, most of which are either tributaries or distributaries to the GBM river systems. The total length of the river courses is approximately 24,000km and the total catchment area of the GBM is about 1.75 million km2, of which only 7 per cent lies within Bangladesh. There are 57 trans-boundary rivers in the country, of which 54 are shared with India and the remaining 3 originate in Myanmar. On average, almost 1,106km3 of water crosses the borders of Bangladesh annually, of which 85 per cent is between June and October. Around 54 per cent (599km3) is contributed by the Brahmaputra, 31 per cent (344km3) by the Ganges and nearly 15 per cent (163km3) by the tributaries of the Meghna and other minor rivers. Because of the great disparity between the monsoon floods and the low flow during the dry season, the manageable surface water resources are considered as 80 per cent of the dependable flow in March. Surface water resources are used extensively for dry season irrigation, mainly for Boro rice using low-lift pumps (LLPs) and traditional devices. The availability of groundwater resources in Bangladesh is determined by the properties of the groundwater storage reservoir and the volume of annual recharge. Key factors that determine groundwater availability include the capacity of the country’s aquifers to store water and the extent of economic withdrawal of groundwater for irrigation, domestic and industrial needs. The sources of recharge are rainfall, flooding, and stream flow in rivers. The quaternary alluvium of Bangladesh constitutes a huge aquifer with reasonably good transmission and storage properties. Heavy rainfall and inundation during the monsoon help the aquifers to be substantially recharged annually. A regional groundwater recharge assessment was undertaken in 1987 by Master Plan Organization (MPO) under the National Water Plan (NWP) of the Ministry of Water Resources. MPO updated the groundwater resources assessment during the NWP Phase–II in 1991, and the average annual available groundwater recharge for the country was estimated at 21km3. The internal renewable water resources are estimated at 105km3 per year. The overlap being considered negligible, this includes 84km3 of surface water produced internally as stream flows from rainfall and about 21km3 of groundwater resources produced within the country. Part of the groundwater comes from the infiltration of surface water with an external origin. Since annual cross-border river flows and entering groundwater are estimated to be 1,105.64km3, the total renewable water resources are estimated at 1,210.64 km3. In 2007 there was only one multi-purpose dam, located at Kaptai in Rangamati Hill district. The total capacity of this dam is 20.3km3. In addition, there are three barrages constructed across the Teesta, Tangon and Manu rivers, which are used as diversion structures for irrigation purposes only. In 1995, the installed capacity of all the country’s power plants was about 2,907MW, of which about 230MW was hydroelectric.

1.1.2.WATER USE In 2008, the total water withdrawal was estimated at about 35.87 km3, of which about 31.50km3 (88 per cent) was for agriculture, 3.60km3 (10 per cent) for municipalities and 0.77km3 (2 per cent) for industries. Approximately 28.48km3, or 79 per cent of the total water withdrawal, comes from groundwater and 7.39km3, or 21 per cent, from surface water. Only about 15km³ annually, or about one per cent of total water resources, is withdrawn for human use. Of the total withdrawal, 86 per cent is for agriculture, 12 per cent for domestic water supply and 2 per cent for industry. Out of the total consumptive use of water (withdrawals minus return flows), 73 per cent is used for agricultural purposes and 20 per cent for evaporation in forests, water bodies, charland, and urban and rural environments, leaving 7 per cent for water supply and sanitation. Although population growth has slowed to less than two per cent per year, it is predicted that Bangladesh's total population will increase from 129 million people in 2000 to 181 million by 2025 and 224 million by 2050, accompanied by an increased demand for water.

1.2.WATER QUALITY, ECOSYSTEMS AND HUMAN HEALTH Many people are landless and forced to live on and cultivate flood-prone land. Other major environmental problems include: waterborne diseases prevalent in surface water; water pollution, especially of fishing areas, resulting from the use of commercial pesticides; ground water contamination by naturally occurring arsenic; intermittent water shortages because of falling water tables in the northern and central parts of the country; soil degradation and erosion; deforestation; and severe overpopulation. Due to the limited availability of surface water during the dry season, groundwater has become an increasingly important source of water for irrigation, municipal and industrial purposes. A number Country Overview - Bangladesh of adverse effects have been observed due to over-exploitation of groundwater, such as the lowering of water tables, reductions in dry season flows of rivers and streams, groundwater pollution, the intrusion of saline water in coastal areas, ecological imbalance and possible land subsidence. There has been evidence of permanent depletion of groundwater levels in some locations, particularly in the Dhaka metropolitan area, where the average annual decline in the water level is about 3m, and in the northwest region of the country. The area salinized by irrigation was estimated at 1,000km2 in 1993. Irrigation water quality has deteriorated in some locations due to pollution with agrochemicals, industrial waste and other sources. Arsenic contamination of groundwater, particularly HTW and water from STWs, has been reported in 59 out of 64 districts of the country in many government and donor agency documents. Arsenic concentration has been found to be at its highest level within the upper 50m of aquifers in most regions of the country (Water Aid, 2000). In many places, the concentration of iron and arsenic in irrigation water has gone beyond the limit of the safe water quality standards of Bangladesh and the WHO. A number of diseases and health problems, including arsenicosis, blindness and physical disability, occur due to arsenic toxicity to human body. In some parts of the country, particularly the Barind Tracts within the northwest region, there are already symptoms of deterioration in the natural hydrological regime, effects on soils and the growth of agricultural crops resulting from poor water quality, and health hazards and effects on flora and fauna due to the decline in groundwater levels. Careful consideration should therefore be given to these environmental issues in order to harness the beneficial uses of irrigation water composed of both surface water and groundwater resources (Water Risk Filter) 

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Organizations in Bangladesh

To empower underprivileged section of the society by taking stand and providing with financial and logistic support to bring quantities and qualitative changes in their livelihood development for in an Equal and just society implementing the SDG goals by the … Learn More

To empower underprivileged section of the society by taking stand and providing with financial and logistic support to bring quantities and qualitative changes in their livelihood development for in an Equal and just society implementing the SDG goals by the … Learn More

The Aqaix ("A-kye-ix") mission is to bring more capital to water infrastructure of all types, globally, from small WASH projects to major "grey" projects and everything in between...habitat restoration, stormwater and searise resiliency, urban repiping, water balance investments, water reuse … Learn More

Aqua for All is a not-for-profit organisation operating in Africa and Asia. For almost two decades, we have worked towards catalysing an innovative, sustainable and inclusive water and sanitation economy worldwide. We believe that innovation, scalable solutions, and public and … Learn More

Badhon (BMUS)’s mission is to work in a participatory and sustainable way with disadvantaged, children, adolescents, women and minority people to alleviate poverty and improve access to Human Rights. Learn More

Bangladesh Environment and Development Society (BEDS) is a non-profit, non-political organization committed to sustainable socio-economic development, conservation of natural resources, use of clean energy and protection of the environment through research and implementation of specific activities. A group of enlightened … Learn More

Transforming a Billion Lives. We are a Singapore-based socially purposed company on a mission to "Transform a Billion Lives". We operate at the intersection of climate action, social impact, and capital efficiency. We design, operate and finance distributed infrastructure projects … Learn More

Centre for People &amp; Environ (CPE) is a hub for scientists, researchers, professionals, academicians and people to work for sustainable development. The organization provides research and capacity building services, science-policy integration at local, regional and national level related to Climate … Learn More

Provide safe drinking water to 5,000+ villages and urban areas impacting 5 million people by 2020 Learn More

Global Fabric and Thread manufacturer, with significant goals and tragets related to water stewardship. Member of CEO Water Mandate. Learn More

For stop child marriage and work for desibalitis Water related disaster management Learn More

Be a leader in water stewardship for the fashion industry, working both with reducing the water footprint of our value chain and engaging to promote better water governance in strategic, high risk river basins to secure availability and quality of … Learn More

HYDROC is an association of independent consultants, -scientists and -engineers, providing water-related services through a network of national and international experts. Our concept uses the synergies of our combined expertise for the successful implementation of a variety of projects. Our … Learn More

The mandate of the organization is to assist its stakeholders to attain sustaniable social uplift and development. Through its Factrum Illuminary social outrich pprogram young engineers and engineering students volinter their skilss to underprevliged communities in the areas of safe … Learn More

Our Vision: ISDE Bangladesh aspires to create a poverty and hunger-free, just society of educated, socio-economically developed and environmentally-friendly people. Our Mission: To facilitate socio-economic change in the lives of disadvantaged people, particularly women and children, in the southeast of … Learn More

LEDARS is an NGO working in the coastal area of Bangladesh. The main focus of LEDARS working area is Water supply, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH). LEDARS has been awarded by World Water Showcase award in 7th World Water Forum, 2015, … Learn More

Participatory Human Rights Advancement Society (PHRAS) was established With a view to provide basic Rights/facilities/welfare and amenities to the people, including Drug Addicts, and in field of basic Health, basic Education, Elimination of Child Labor, Sanitation, Water Supply, Women Development, … Learn More

Accelerate your business. Learn More

Safety Assistance For Emergencies is a charitable trust known by its acronym SAFE that aims to support persons in need and those affected by natural disasters like cyclones and floods. Since its inception in 2001, SAFE has worked to provide … Learn More

WaterAid is an international NGO focused exclusively on ensuring equitable access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene education for the world’s poorest communities. Formed in 1981, we have been working in water, sanitation and hygiene for over 30 years. To … Learn More

“Empowering Youth for the Sustainable Future.” YFB is completely youth based organization. Our aim is to unite youth and to build their living meaningful. Every youth have the ability to change the social, environments thus make a strong impact but … Learn More

Our Vision is widespread implementation of sustainable chemistry, driving innovations and best practices in textile, apparel and footwear industries to protect consumers, workers and the environment. Our Mission is to enable brands and retailers in the textile, apparel, and footwear … Learn More

Projects in Bangladesh


Since 2016 the Toilet Board Coalition’s accelerator program has been supporting entrepreneurs with bespoke mentorship, partnership and the visibility to scale their sanitation economy businesses. More than toilets alone, we look for commercially viable businesses across the sanitation economies – … Learn More

This project aims to improve access to sustainable water and sanitation services in Tala Upazila of Satkhira district, recognised as a disaster prone zone due to its Geo location. Learn More

Training programme for consumer association will educate workers about their rights and implementation of law & order in garments industry in Bangladesh. Also, we are working to establish the proper labor rights and stop the violation of human rights, especially … Learn More

School children are one of the most vulnerable groups that face the problem of water scarcity and quality. In Bangladesh, many schools lack proper facilities for water supply, sanitation, and hygiene. Without safe drinking water, many school days are lost … Learn More

This project aims to provide 15 hand washing facilities and 50 sanitation facilities for 2044 children in 3 high schools and 2 primary schools. An awareness, skills development, and training program will be provided. Learn More

Bangladesh is a riverine country. Although the transport system has significantly developed in the past few decades, still water transport remained one of the major mediums of transportation for passengers and transporting goods across the country. Every day numerous water … Learn More

In 2017, Inditex continued to integrate sustainability criteria for the use of water in all of its business areas, thanks to the implementation of its Global Water Management Strategy. The rational use of water and our commitment to “zero discharge” … Learn More

WaterAid Bangladesh is aiming to reach close to 10 million people with their hygiene promotion activities. They are promoting handwashing using a social media campaign, awareness videos and placing banners in schools and hospitals. The team is working with local … Learn More

In the Taihu basin of the lower Yangtze River in China, WWF and H&M group launched the first Water Stewardship Industrial Park project, where more than 20 factories collaborated to improve water management. The partnership developed an Industrial Park Guideline … Learn More

BASA will help provide safe drinking water for 700 people in a slum in Gazipur, Bangladesh. Water will be collected by a deep tube well, stored in an overhead reservoir, and piped to 15 distribution points. Learn More

Generate Some innovative idea to make strong awareness among with people where they can understand causes of water pollution and shortage of water. Whether people make them aware to Understanding of the issues. Under Save water Save the World we … Learn More

It is estimated that one in five people are employed in global supply chains. Corporations have the potential to play an influential role in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 6, “ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for … Learn More

Bangladesh is a South Asian small country having a huge population. Sundarbans coastal region of Bangladesh is really disaster vulnerable due to its geographic location. Our proposed project site is the Sundarbans coastal region of Bangladesh that is Banishanta union … Learn More

The goal of this project is to increase access to safe water for drinking and using in all the household activities of the people in Bauphal, one of the prominent coastal belt upazilas situated in the district of Patuakhali. Learn More

Reduced poverty and improved health, environmental and economic conditions by empowering people and creating an enabling environment, thus achieving increased sustainable access to and use of safe water and sanitation services and improved hygiene practices for women and marginalized groups. Learn More

WaterAid is an international NGO focused exclusively on ensuring equitable access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene education (WASH) for the world’s poorest communities. Formed in 1981 we have been working in water, sanitation and hygiene for over 30 years. … Learn More

With support from H&M group, WWF completed two key research reports, exploring the political and economic challenges and opportunities around water within Bangladesh. Leveraging these findings, the partnership actively engaged policymakers for more sustainable water management in Bangladesh, with a … Learn More

Dhaka, Chittagong, Khulna, Rajshahi, Barisal, Rangpur, Mymensingh, Sylhet Reach up to 1 million people per year with lasting access to safe water and sanitation, with the additional benefit of up to 3 billion liters per year of recurring Volumetric Water … Learn More

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S M Nazer Hossain
Water Action Hub Team
Primary Contact  
Md Inteajer E Jahan Uday

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