National Water Policy
The National Water Policy, promulgated in 1999 provides overall policy direction for water sector in Bangladesh. Water resources management in Bangladesh faces immense challenge for resolving many diverse problems and issues. The most critical of these are alternating flood and water scarcity during the wet and the dry seasons, ever-expanding water needs of a growing economy and population, massive river sedimentation and bank erosion. With the increasing of population, urbanization and industrialization, there is a growing need for providing total water quality management, and maintenance of the eco-system. There is an urgency to satisfy multi-sector water needs with limited resources, promote efficient and socially responsible water use, delineate public and private responsibilities, and decentralize state activities where appropriate. All of these have to be accomplished under severe constraints, such as the lack of control over rivers originating outside the country's borders, the difficulty of managing the deltaic plain, and the virtual absence of unsettled land for building water structures. National Water Policy has been framed to guide management of the country's water resources by all the concerned ministries, agencies, departments, and local bodies that are assigned for the development, maintenance, and delivery of water and water related services as well as the private users and developers of water resources.
The National Water Policy sets new paradigms for the water sector, which include: decentralized water management; cost sharing and cost recovery; private sector participation; community participation; nontraditional financing modalities; regulation separated from supply; and new rights, obligations and accountability. These will have considerable bearing on the existing institutions and the way in which they manage their affairs and inter-act with others. The National Water Policy will be reviewed periodically and revised if necessary.
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