Floods in Bangladesh: History, Dynamics and Rethinking the Role of the Himalayas

Overview

Deforestation and land use practices of Himalayan farmers are commonly blamed for the recurring, devastating monsoon floods in the plains of the Ganges and Brahmaputra. Floods in Bangladesh presents new evidence to disprove this long-held assertion.

This book demonstrates that the hydro-meteorological processes in the Himalayas are not the main causes for the floods in Bangladesh. The combination of simultaneous discharge peaks of the big rivers, high runoff from the Meghalaya ...

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Overview

Deforestation and land use practices of Himalayan farmers are commonly blamed for the recurring, devastating monsoon floods in the plains of the Ganges and Brahmaputra. Floods in Bangladesh presents new evidence to disprove this long-held assertion.

This book demonstrates that the hydro-meteorological processes in the Himalayas are not the main causes for the floods in Bangladesh. The combination of simultaneous discharge peaks of the big rivers, high runoff from the Meghalaya Hills, heavy rainfall, high groundwater tables, and spring tides creates particularly favorable conditions for large-scale flooding. Accordingly, the myth about deforestation creating big floods and the habit of blaming mountain dwellers for the flood catastrophes must be abandoned.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9789280811216
  • Publisher: United Nations University Press
  • Publication date: 1/16/2007
  • Pages: 450
  • Product dimensions: 6.25 (w) x 9.32 (h) x 1.07 (d)

Meet the Author

Thomas Hofer is a mountain expert in the UN Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome. Bruno Messerli is professor emeritus and former director of the Institute of Geography and rector of the University of Bern, Switzerland.

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Table of Contents


List of figures     vii
List of tables     xiv
List of boxes     xvii
Preface     xix
Acknowledgements     xxx
The project on Bangladesh floods: Background, framework and key questions     1
Floods in Bangladesh: Understanding the basic principles     11
The data situation: The need to compromise     39
The history of flooding in the lowlands of the Ganga, Brahmaputra and Meghna rivers     52
Understanding Bangladesh floods in the context of highland-lowland linkages     108
Case-study appendices     222
1906 - A "flood year"     222
1910 - A "flood year"     236
1922 - A "flood year"     245
1955 - A "flood year" for Bangladesh     254
1974 - A "flood year" for Bangladesh     263
1987 - A "flood year" for Bangladesh     277
1988 - A "flood year" for Bangladesh     294
1998 - A "flood year" for Bangladesh     313
1923 - A "dry year"     330
1978 - A "dry year" for Bangladesh     336
1993 - An "average flood year" for Bangladesh     350
Erosion and sedimentation processes in the Ganga-Brahmaputra basin in the context of highland-lowland linkages     359
Floods in Bangladesh: The human dimension     389
Conclusions     423
References     438
Index     460
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