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Pipeline to prosperity

Turn on a tap in Dhaka and there are times when the water is undrinkable, or nothing comes out at all.

Project Dhaka Environmentally Sustainable Water Supply, Bangladesh

Client Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority

ExpertiseFeasibility, detailed design, contract procurement, construction supervision

The city, one of the 10 largest in the world, is growing fast and running out of drinking water. Groundwater wells are drying up due to over-abstraction, and water from nearby rivers is untreatable because pollution levels are so high. We are delivering the Dhaka Environmentally Sustainable Water Supply project, from concept design to commissioning. It will supply clean water to 4M people in Dhaka from the Meghna River – the nearest useable source – by building a 40km twin transmission pipeline, one of the world’s largest water treatment plants, and a 60km network of new pipelines under the main highways of Dhaka. The outcomes will be improved water security and quality and public health – and better lives and livelihoods for millions of people.

Training in poultry farming, cattle rearing, tailoring and fishery management will ensure those people who live near the pipeline, but do not work on the project, still gain. Grants from the Asian Development Bank will be available for those putting the training into practice.


people will gain access to clean drinking water

Expansion of the piped water supply network will benefit women and girls by reducing the burden traditionally placed on them to fetch water. The construction work will create job opportunities for destitute local women, and they will be paid the same as men for equal work. Separate wash facilities and childcare provision are being provided to encourage women to work on the project.

Dhaka needs new, sustainable sources of potable water to supply a population forecast to grow from 20M to 29M by 2035. Sustainability is at the core of the project – just 0.25% of the flow volume of the Meghna River will be extracted. With a design life of 50 years, predicted sea-level rise has been considered – for example, electrical equipment in the treatment plant is raised above forecast water levels.

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