UCL Department of Geography


Md Izazul Haq

Research Title

Risk of groundwater salinisation in an Asian Mega-delta under global change: evidence from the Bengal Basin

More about Md
  • 2017 - Present PhD Hydrogeology, University College London
  • 2011 - 2012 MSc Physical Geography, University of Dhaka (Awarded in 2014)
  • 2008 - 2011 BSc Geography, University of Dhaka (Awarded in 2013)
  • Md Izazul Haq, Richard G. Taylor and Mohammad Shamsudduha. "Risk to Groundwater due to Global Change in the Bengal Basin: A Review." International Conference on Capacity Building on Research and Innovation in Disaster Resilience, pp. 151-152. Colombo: ASCENT Project, 2018.
  • A. S. M. Maksud Kamal, S. M. Kamrul Hassan, Abrar Hossain, Md. Selim, Nushrat Tashmin, Md. Izazul Haq and Md. Shahidul Islam. Trends of Disaster Related Public Fund Allocation in Bangladesh: An analysis of ADPs during 6th Five Year Plan Period (FY 2011- FY 2015). Dhaka: Planning Commission, 2017.
  • Gavin Jones, A. Q. M. Mahbub, and Md Izazul Haq. Urbanization and Migration in Bangladesh. Dhaka: UNFPA, 2016.
  • Barkat-e-Khuda, Rashed Al Mahmud Titumir, Md. Rabiul Haque, A. Q. M. Mahbub and Md Izazul Haq. "Socioeconomic Development and the Demographic Transition". The Impact of Demographic Transition on Socio-economic Development of Bangladesh: Prospects and Implications for Public Policy. Geoffrey Hayes and Gavin Jones Dhaka: UNFPA, 2015 49-95, 2015.
  • Md Izazul Haq, Meer Ahmed Tariqul Omar, Qazi Aniqua Zahra, Israt Jahan Shashi and Mohammad Rezaur Rahman. Evaluations of Adaptation Policies in GBM Delta of Bangladesh. Dhaka: DECCMA Project, 2015.
Research Interests

The strategic importance of groundwater, the largest distributed freshwater resource on Earth, for ensuring sustainable development under global change is increasing. Global change refers to changes in many aspects of the globe's environmental systems, including climate and anthropogenic components; the latter is largely due to the increasing human population and its activities. Coastal aquifers form the interface between the marine and terrestrial hydrological systems and provide a source of water for more than one billion people living in coastal regions.

Surface and near-surface drinking water in the coastal areas of the Asian Mega-deltas in Vietnam, Bangladesh and India are most vulnerable to contamination by seawater from cyclone induced storm surges, where more than 25 million people at risk of drinking ‘saline’ water. Climate change projections including sea level rise suggest further exacerbation of salinity problems. Salinisation of coastal aquifers is a key risk to groundwater resources in the Bengal Basin due to global change. The precise mechanisms of how global change (i.e., sea-level rise, coastal storm surges, land use change, pumping) impact shallow groundwater in coastal Bangladesh are unknown partly due to a lack of long-term monitoring records of groundwater salinity in coastal aquifers and the lack of integration of groundwater salinity and sea-level monitoring records.

Despite the threats to water and food security posed by groundwater salinity to coastal communities, very little primary research has been conducted into the processes that are responsible for the projected salinisation of coastal aquifers. Current knowledge derives mainly from studies of ‘arsenic’ and is limited to observations from small, site-scale studies. Further, current conceptual models linking groundwater salinity to global change are based on computer simulations that remain largely untested by empirical observations and many critical questions of process remain unanswered. These limitations in the existing knowledge base constrain the development of coherent policy responses in national and regional-scale planning. Regional-scale research, rooted in empirical observations, is required to test and develop our understanding of the salinisation of coastal groundwater resources in the Bengal Basin and other Mega-deltas.