Mott MacDonald appointed on Dhaka environmentally sustainable water supply project, Bangladesh

Posted: Thursday 30th January 2014

Mott MacDonald has been appointed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to provide technical engineering and procurement assistance on the Environmentally Sustainable Water Supply Project in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The ADB is providing a $250 million loan for the scheme which is being developed by Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (DWASA) and seeks to provide 24 hour water supply to all connected households in six service zones of the DWASA.

Dhaka has an estimated population of over 15 million and is forecast to grow to around 29 million by 2035. Groundwater sources currently form 100% of water supply to households in most services zones, which has resulted in the water table falling annually by 2–3 metres. This has led to 40 and 60 deep tube wells becoming inoperable each year. In addition, the Sitalakhya River – the city’s main source of surface water – is becoming increasingly polluted.

In order to reduce the dependence on groundwater to 40% of total water by 2021, a new raw water intake will be developed at the Meghna River, about 30km east of the city. This will include a pumping station with a capacity to provide 2 billion litres of water per day. Raw and treated water pipelines and an access road will be constructed to connect the intake to a new water treatment plant at Gandharbpur. The new plant will be capable of handling 500 million litres a day and will serve the population of around 3 million people in Badda, Gulshan, Mirpur, and Uttara.

Mott MacDonald will assist DWASA to prepare tender documents for the design, build and operate contacts and review the proposals received from international contractors.

Nigel Osmaston, Mott MacDonald project director, commented: “This project is vital to Dhaka’s growing population as groundwater sources are diminishing rapidly. These initiatives seek to reduce groundwater extraction by 150 million litres per day and help the city water authority raise its overall surface water supplies to 1.9 billion litres a day by 2021. Mott MacDonald reviewed the initial technical feasibility study for the project. Our experts in the United Kingdom and in Dhaka will now work together with DWASA to develop the remit for the contracts.”

The project is estimated to cost nearly $675 million with ADB’s $250 million loan coming from its concessional Asian Development Fund. ADB will also partially administer a $100 million loan from Agence Française de Développement, with the European Investment Bank also providing a co-financing loan of $100 million. The Government of Bangladesh will provide almost $225 million.

The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2019.

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