Salinity Intrusion in Interior Coast of Bangladesh: Challenges to Agriculture in South-Central Coastal Zone

Mohammed Abdul Baten, Lubna Seal, Kazi Sunzida Lisa
2015 American Journal of Climate Change  
This paper investigates the impacts of salinity on crop agriculture in south-central coastal zone of Bangladesh, more particularly interior coast. The coastal areas of Bangladesh, with near flat topography and location at the tip of "funnel shaped" Bay of Bengal, are susceptible to a number of natural hazards such as cyclones, tidal surges, salinity intrusion, riverbank erosion, and shoreline recession. The coastal zone of Bangladesh, especially exposed coast has come into focus in a number of
more » ... cus in a number of policy and academic studies for salinity intrusion, but with the accelerated impacts of climate change salinity extends from the exposed to the interior coast hampering crop production. To investigate extent of salinity level in interior coast and its impact on crop agriculture, this study tested irrigation water collected in between October and December 2011 from the lower Meghna at Gosairhat upazila in Shariatpur district and interviewed experts and local farmers. This study estimated that salinity concentration of surface water was 1.3 dS/m which was 0.8 dS/m higher than the earlier estimation by ICZMP (Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plan) in 2003. The test further revealed that Chloride ion concentration in irrigation water was 500 ppm, pH level was 7.99 and concentration of Carbonate ion was 221 ppm, which were much higher than the desired level. Estimated salinity concentration has already put a threat to the crop production and a significant yield loss has already been noticed in dry season. In the changing scenario of sea level rise, it has been predicted that the increasing concentration of salinity would create more pressure to the farmer by reducing yield on one hand and threatening livelihood, income generation and food security on the other hand. Therefore, to reduce the future loss and prevent the present loss, the study recommends leaching and selecting salinity tolerant crop varieties as adaptation techniques. M. A. Baten et al. 249
doi:10.4236/ajcc.2015.43020 fatcat:hm65r6eppvg6xdoxzee4mk5xh4