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UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction

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Md Izazul Haq

Izaz Haq

Supervisors: Professor Richard Taylor and Dr Mohammad Shamsudduha
Funding: Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the UK 
Email: md.haq.17@ucl.ac.uk 


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

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.

Academic qualification

  • 2017 – Present: PhD Physical Geography, University College London
  • 2012 – 2013: MSc Physical Geography, University of Dhaka (awarded in 2014)
  • 2008 – 2011: BSc Geography, University of Dhaka (awarded in 2013)

Research-based teaching

UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction (September 2018 – present)

  • IRDR0004: Data Analysis and Interpretation. PGTA (Postgraduate)
  • IRDR0005: Practice and Appraisal of Research. PGTA (Postgraduate)
  • IRDR0021: Social and Geospatial Data Analysis Modules PGTA (Undergraduate)

UCL Department of Geography (August 2018 – present)

  • GEOG0013: Geography in the Field. PGTA (Undergraduate)
  • GEOG0018: 22-23 Methods in Human Geography PGTA (Undergraduate)
  • GEOG0162: Cartography and Data Visualisation. PGTA (Undergraduate & Postgraduate)
  • GEOG0036: Groundwater and Development in Africa. PGTA (Undergraduate)

Department of Disaster Science and Climate Resilience, University of Dhaka (March 2016 – September 2017)

  • DSMHL105: Basic Cartography and Mapping Techniques. Convener (Undergraduate)
  • DSMHT 203: Climatic Hazards and Climate Change. Convener (Undergraduate)
  • DSMHT 214: Geographic Information System and Database Management. Convener (Undergraduate)
  • DSMHL 216: GIS Lab. Convener (Undergraduate)
  • DSMHT 312: Population, Migration and Shelter Management. Co-convener (Undergraduate)

Institute of Disaster Management and Vulnerability Studies, University of Dhaka (April 2015 – March 2016)

  • DMC104: Geography and Environment. Convener (Undergraduate)
  • DMC 302: GIS and Remote Sensing Techniques in Disaster Management. Convener (Undergraduate)
  • DMC 505: Fundamentals of Research Methodology: Quantitative and Qualitative. Co-convener (Postgraduate)
  • DMC 506: Major Disasters and Vulnerability: National and Global Perspectives. Co-convener (Postgraduate)

Academic supervision

Completed M.Sc. Student(s)

  • Katy Baker, Investigating the drivers of surface water salinity trends to assess food and water security in coastal Bangladesh, Primary Supervisor: Professor Richard Taylor (UCL Geography, 2021/22).
  • Savin Bansal, Resilient critical infrastructure as functional nodes for development: A case study of Uttarakhand, India after ‘Kedarnath Tragedy’, Primary Supervisor; Professor David Alexander (UCL IRDR, 2021/22).

Current BSc student(s)

  • Mumena Choudhury, Impact of climate change on coastal freshwater resources in the Bengal Basin, Primary Supervisor: Professor Richard Taylor (UCL Geography, 2022/23).

Publications

Peer-reviewed article

  • Shamsuddhuha, M., Taylor, R. G., Haq, M. I., Nowreen, S., Zahid, A. and Ahmed, K. M., (2022) The Bengal Water Machine: Quantified freshwater capture in Bangladesh, Science, Vol 377, Issue 6612, pp. 1315-1319, DOI: 10.1126/science.abm4730

Book/research report

  • Jones, G., Mahbub, A.Q.M. & Haq, M. I. (2016) Urbanization and Migration in Bangladesh, Dhaka: UNFPA Bangladesh.
  • Kamal, A.S.M.M., Hassan, S.M.K., Hossain, A., Selim, M., Haq, M. I., Tashmin, N., & Islam, S. (2016) 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 Bangladesh.
  • Haq, M. I., Omar, M.A.T., Zahra, Q.A. & Jahan, I. (2015) Evaluations of Adaptation Policies in GBM Delta of Bangladesh, DECCMA Working Paper, Deltas, Vulnerability and Climate Change: Migration and Adaptation, IDRC Project Number 107642.           

Book chapter

  • Khuda, B., Titumir, R.A.M., Haque, M.R., Mahbub, A.Q.M. and Haq, M. I. (2015) ‘Socioeconomic Development and the Demographic Transition’ in Hayes, G. and Jones, G. (ed.) The Impact of Demographic Transition on Socio-economic Development of Bangladesh: Future Prospects and Implications for Public Policy, Dhaka: UNFPA Bangladesh, p.49-95.

Peer-reviewed conference proceedings

  • Shamsuddhuha, M., Taylor, R. G., Haq, M. I., Nowreen, S., Zaqhid, A. and Ahmed, K. M., ‘Sustaining Groundwater-fed Irrigation Through the Ganges Water Machine: Evidence from Bangladesh’, AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts 2021, H11C-04.
  • Haq, M. I., and Jahan, I., ‘Assessment of the Status of Gender Sensitive Migration in Climate Change Adaptation Policies of Bangladesh’, AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts 2019, NH41C-0937.
  • Haq, M. I., Taylor, R. G. and Shamsudduha, M. (2019) ‘Risk to Groundwater due to Global Change in the Bengal Basin: A Review’, Proceedings of the International Conference on Capacity Building on Research and Innovation in Disaster Resilience, University of Colombo, 14th – 18th January 2019.
  • Chowdhury, M. A. C., Jahan, M., Jisan, M. A., Kabir, R., Haq, M. I. and Hossain, J. A. (2015) ‘Study of Cyclone Shelters in the Coastal Bangladesh: An Assessment from Gender Perspective’, Proceedings of the International Conference on Gender, Diversity and Development, University of Dhaka, 27th - 29th March 2015.

Public speaking/talks

  • Risk of groundwater salinisation in an Asian Mega-delta under global change: Evidence from the Bengal Basin. UCL Geography MPhil to PhD Upgrade Talk. 2nd May. At UCL Department of Geography in London, UK. (2019)
  • 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, 14th – 18th January. At University of Colombo, Sri Lanka. (2019)
  • The Curious Case of Climate Change and Coastal Migration in Bangladesh. UCL IRDR Lunchtime Seminar, 15th November. At UCL Institute of Risk and Disaster Reduction in London, UK. (2017)
  • Understanding the Factors of Coastal Population Dynamics in Bangladesh: A Socio-environmental Nexus. UCL-Lancet Commission Simulation Session on Responding to Forced Migration. 30th November. At UCL Institute of Risk and Disaster Reduction in London, UK. (2017)