Update December 20, 2015

Dhaka 12-16 pm, 22-October, 2020

Khulna city dwellers to get salinity-free water from 2017

Sumel Sarker


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20 December 2015, Nirapad News: Khulna, the country’s third largest city, is going to have a sustainable water supply system free of salinity as the Khulna Water Supply Project (KWSP) is expected to be completed by

The project aims to augment the water of the Modhumoti River through treatment to the water distribution network in the southwestern divisional city to ensure reliable access to drinkable water free of salinity.

The water supply project is jointly being implemented by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) vand Khulna Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (KWASA).

ADB approved around $75 million in assistance for the KWSP in 2011.

The ADB-funded portion of the project will be completed by 2016.

The Khulna city, having a population of 1.5 million, requires 240 million litres of fresh water every day.

At this moment, KWASA is fully dependent on groundwater, producing 110 million litres a day (60 million litres through supply lines and 50 through hand tube-wells). With the current capacity, KWASA is meeting 45 percent of the total demand.

The project adopts a climate-proof design to address the impending increase in the salinity of the river water as a result of sea-level rise. Due to climate change, salinity is increasing gradually which is further hampering the drinking water supply system.

The rivers adjacent to the Khulna city contain highly saline water almost over six months a year. Because of over-extraction, the underground water table is also falling sharply.

ADB is supporting five components under this project – setting up clean water transmission pipeline, including river crossing (length 40.8 KM), seven distribution reservoir (56,100 cubic meter capacity), 10 overhead water tanks (5,250 cubic meter), water distribution pipe network of 650 KM length) and 75,000 meter & service pipe connection.

Talking about the source of surface water for the project, KWASA managing director Md Abdullah said the source of KWSP’s water is the Madhumati River as the salinity rate in this river is low compared to the other adjoining rivers like the Rupsha and Bhairab.

He said the Modhumoti water will be collected from Samontosena, some 33 km off the city. The water will be brought to the treatment plant situated in Mollarhat through a long pipeline.

After the treatment and quality control, this water will be supplied to the seven reservoirs located in different places in the city.

Finally, the water will be distributed to the city people by pipeline from 10 overhead water tanks, he added.

Mentioning that most development projects do not cover slum areas, the KWASA MD said the running project has a special feature that it will cover around 2 lakh slum dwellers of the city.

KWASA Deputy Managing Director and KWSP project director Kamaluddin Ahmed said there are five parts of this project; the first two parts — water collection and treatment plant is funded by JICA while other three parts – water reservoirs, overhead tanks and distribution system – by ADB.

Talking about the total cost for the KWSP, he said the estimated total project cost is $365.47 million of which JICA will provide $188.44 million, Bangladesh government 107.20 million and ADB 74.83 million.

He also informed that 35 percent of the project has already been finished and the whole project will be completed by 2017.

After visiting the KWSP site at Choto Boyra in Khulna, ADB Deputy Country Director in Bangladesh Resident Mission Oleg Tonkonojenkov said the project will provide people with clean, safe water free of salinity while existing water supply system in Khulna is increasingly becoming saline which is not good for health.

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