The Bengal Delta Plain, like many deltas in Asia, is densely populated. Natural conditions are favourable in terms of soil fertility and abundance of water resources for cultivation. Groundwater is abundant and easily accessible by wells. However, the well drilling campaigns during the last few decades, intended to supply safe water to nearly 97% the population, have turned out to bring out water with toxic levels of arsenic over large areas of the country.
The mechanisms of the arsenic mobilisation are not well understood and two conflicting hypothesis have been forwarded. Any measure to improve the situation has to be based on correct understanding of the geochemistry, as incorrect interpretations may worsen the situation. In order to study the mechanisms of arsenic mobilisation, and options for low-cost remediation, a collaborative research project had been initiated by KTH in co-operation with the Department of Geology, Dhaka University, Bangladesh commencing from January, 1999. Sida-SAREC has provided funding for a three year research project.
As a starting point and a summing up of the present knowledge a seminar was jointly organised by the Departartment of Geology at the Dhaka University and the Groundwater Arsenic Research Group, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at KTH. The present volume is a documentation of a a seminar jointlly organised by the Department of Geology at the Dhaka University and the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at KTH. The seminar was aimed at giving a good starting point for future co-operation. The co-operation had already started in the form of thesis works for M. Sc. students following the M. Sc. course Environmental Engineering at KTH. This and part of the coming co-operation is funded by Sida. The University of Dhaka kindly took the trouble of all the local arrangements and provided a major scientific contribution to the seminar. The Swedish Ambassador in Bangladesh honoured the seminar by opening the sessions.
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2001. , 120 p.