Strategic water resources planning: A case study of Bangladesh

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Many agrarian countries have heavily invested in large-scale water projects to promote their agricultural development. There have been, however, few attempts to devise strategic water resources planning accounting for the macroeconomic linkages of agriculture. This article presents such a strategic water resources planning framework for Bangladesh. First, a dynamic cost minimization model is solved to compute the optimal investment needed in various water projects such that an agricultural growth target can be met. Next, the minimum cost solution is again derived accounting for the macroeconomic linkages of agriculture, which, under different macroeconomic scenarios, results in noticeably different policy implications for optimal water planning. These results suggest that the traditional sectoral approaches of planning water investment projects are generally inconsistent with the broader macroeconomic reality of Bangladesh.

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