Water Resources Professional Project Reports


Pallab Mozumder

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As the lowest riparian in a huge trans boundary river basin, Bangladesh faces increasing threat of massive flood exposure. This project explores effective flood mitigation strategies for Bangladesh. First it describes the basic characteristics of flooding in Bangladesh, the largest delta in the world. Then it highlights the major flood mitigation strategies so far adopted in Bangladesh. The study provides a holistic framework for describing flood mitigation strategies and discusses the strength of some components that have received little attention. It discusses the consequence of imbalance between short-run and long-run flood mitigation strategies. Given the transboundary nature of the flooding problem in an active delta with a massive hydrologic system, the study recognizes the limitation of piecemeal stand-alone structures to adopt flood control measures. The gigantic scale of the delta formation needs to be taken into account in long-term flood mitigation plan for Bangladesh. The long-term solution to flood mitigation relies on ensuring participation of all basin countries instead of piecemeal intervention. The study emphasizes that while standalone strategies should not be ignored, equal effort should be given to a cooperative solution with other basin countries. Thus, an attempt is made to provide a conceptual framework to extend the bargaining space to facilitate effectively negotiating a cooperative flood mitigation solution among downstream and upstream countries. The project proposes that linking the water-sharing issue with other non-water issues (e.g. transshipment through seaport access) will give more bargaining power to the downstream player. Using insight from basic game theory literature to support this proposition, first the water-sharing issue and the transshipment issue are represented as two separate prisoner's dilemma games. These two issues are then presented as one linked prisoner's dilemma game. The gain from linking two games is identified in the bargaining space implying that linking will make the cooperative solution more attractive. In other words linking these two separate issues will make non-cooperation more costly. However, the implementation of this framework will not be an easy job. It will face obstacles from the upstream country. Since the non-water issue (e.g. transshipment) may have a higher stake to the upstream country, cooperation may still be attractive.

Language (ISO)



Bangladesh Delta, flood mitigation strategies, Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna (GBM) river basin, transboundary flood management, sustainable development strategies, flood control, irrigation, and drainage projects, Prisoner's Dilemma game strategy


A Professional Project Report Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Water Resources Policy/Management Concentration, Water Resources Program, The University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico,December 2005