University of Oulu

Tulip, S. S., Siddik, M. S., Islam, Md. N., Rahman, A., Torabi Haghighi, A., & Mustafa, S. M. T. (2022). The impact of irrigation return flow on seasonal groundwater recharge in northwestern Bangladesh. Agricultural Water Management, 266, 107593.

The impact of irrigation return flow on seasonal groundwater recharge in northwestern Bangladesh

Saved in:
Author: Tulip, Shibli Sadik1; Siddik, Md Sifat1; Islam, Md. Nazrul1;
Organizations: 1Department of Irrigation and Water Management, Bangladesh Agricultural University, Mymensingh 2202, Bangladesh
2Water, Energy and Environmental Engineering Research Unit, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 4300, FIN90014 Oulu, Finland
3School of Geosciences, University of Aberdeen, Old Aberdeen AB24 3UF, Scotland, UK
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 19.9 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-12-19


Irrigation is vital in Bangladesh in order to meet the growing food demand as a result of the increasing population. During the dry season, groundwater irrigation is the main source of water for agriculture. However, excessive abstraction of groundwater for irrigation causes groundwater level depletion. At the same time, the loss from excessive irrigation could end up contributing to aquifer recharge as return flow. Therefore, investigating the influence of irrigation on groundwater is important for the sustainable management of this resource. This study aims to assess the impact of irrigation on groundwater recharge in the northwest Rajshahi district in Bangladesh. A semi-physically based water balance model was used to simulate spatially distributed groundwater recharge with two scenarios (with and without irrigation). To evaluate the effect of irrigation, groundwater recharges from these two scenarios were compared. The result showed that the use of groundwater for irrigation increased over the study period whereas, there was a persistent trend of decrease in groundwater level during the study period. Groundwater provides 91% of overall irrigation in the study area. However, on average, about 33% of the total irrigation becomes return flow and contributes to groundwater recharge in the dry season. Irrigation return flow is around 98% of the total recharge during the dry season in this region. The spatially distributed seasonal return flow varies from 305 to 401 mm. In brief, irrigation has a significant role in groundwater recharge in the study area during the dry season. Hence, proper irrigation water measurement and management are necessary for sustainable groundwater resource management in this region.

see all

Series: Agricultural water management
ISSN: 0378-3774
ISSN-E: 1873-2283
ISSN-L: 0378-3774
Volume: 266
Article number: 107593
DOI: 10.1016/j.agwat.2022.107593
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 4111 Agronomy
1171 Geosciences
Copyright information: © 2022 The Authors. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (