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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Environ. Sci. | doi: 10.3389/fenvs.2019.00155

An open-source tool to facilitate the processing of GRACE Observations and GLDAS outputs: An evaluation in Bangladesh

  • 1NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), United States
  • 2Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, United States
  • 3Brigham Young University, United States
  • 4International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development, Nepal

Bangladesh lies at the intersection of the Ganges, Brahmaputra, and Meghna rivers with a combined average discharge of 38,000 m3s-1 ranking fourth globally. Despite the volume of water flowing through and seasonally inundating parts of the landscape, groundwater reliance is necessary to support an intensive agricultural industry. Here we use newly-developed open-source software to combine observations from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellites with hydrologic estimates of land water storage from the Global Land Assimilation Data System (GLDAS) to isolate basin-scale groundwater anomalies in Northwest Bangladesh from 2002 to 2016. We place our estimates in the context of previously-published water management estimates and our results suggest the largest losses in water storage are due to groundwater abstractions with groundwater storage decreasing at a rate of 0.88 cm yr-1. We estimate basin-averaged total water storage loss from 2002 to 2016 at 27.92 cm with groundwater and surface water storage loss accounting for 12.46 cm or 44.6%. For Bangladesh, a region where 80% of landcover is dedicated for agricultural use and over half of the country’s population is employed in the agricultural sector, the estimated declines in water storage hold long-term implications for the livelihood and food supply of the region.

Keywords: Water Resources, Groundwater, Sustainable management, Food security, open-source software

Received: 31 May 2019; Accepted: 25 Sep 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Purdy, David, Sikder, Reager, Chandanpurkar, Jones and Matin. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Mx. Cedric H. David, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), La Cañada Flintridge, CA 91011, California, United States, cedric.david@jpl.nasa.gov