Instrumenting ponds to measure water levels

Installing water level staffing gauges in Madhubani

Installing water level staffing gauges in Madhubani

The project team have now completed the installation of staffing gauges in a number of ponds in the Saptari and Madhubani study villages. These staffing gauges will be read each week, so that a time series of data can be compiled to give us more information about how much water is in storage throughout the seasons.

Sophisticated electronic pressure transducers or rotary encoders can be used to measure the water depth to a high level of accuracy, however this technology also requires power and maintenance, and comes at significant cost. For this project a simple solution was chosen to collect weekly data by visual observation.

Locally available lengths of bamboo were cut into pieces according to the depth of the pond. A measuring tape was then attached to the bamboo with cable zip ties to highlight measurements throughout the scale. Small zip ties were connected at 2.5 cm increments and a longer ties at 5 cm increments to allow easier reading of the depth from a distance.

The weekly depth readings are being collected and will be captured and stored in the project database for analysis throughout the project.

To date, eight ponds have been instrumented in Saptari (five in Koiladi and three in Khoksar Parbaha) and eight ponds in Madhubani (five in Mauahi and three in Bhagwatipur).

Preparation of the bamboo staffing gauges

Preparation of the bamboo staffing gauges

General Considerations Regarding Intervention and Site Selection

Site selection visit - Madhubani

Site selection visit – Madhubani


The selection of trial sites to pilot interventions should be driven by an analysis of the social and biophysical context of the site.

We are required to commence our field trials in the coming Rabi season. The plan is for Partners to present the trial sites that have been selected in each village at the project meetings on 9th and 10th September 2015. This will include information on the technical interventions chosen and the social and biophysical context of each site.

The attached document (click on link below) provides general considerations regarding intervention and site selection. Three important processes necessary in site selection are outlined and a range of institutional and technical interventions are described.

[Article: Intervention-site-selection-procedure-26 June 2015]

Improving water productivity in the northwest region of Bangladesh


Article by Dr Mohammed Mainuddin, CSIRO

The attached article (click on title below) overviews the growth in irrigation development in Bangladesh over the last three decades and the impact on increased agricultural production and groundwater resources.
The objective of this part of our project is to understand the bio-physical, socio-economic and institutional aspects of groundwater irrigation in the northwest region of Bangladesh.
This will be done through intensive monitoring of the groundwater irrigation by STW and DTW in 6 selected sites in Rajshahi, Pabna, Bogra, Rangpur, Dinajpur and Thakurgaon District. The study is expected to provide the answers to the following questions:
• How water and land productivity varies from plot to plot or from location to location and by different modes of irrigation? What are the reasons? How they can be improved?
• What institutional arrangements are in place? What are their effects on the productivity/performance? How they can be improved?
• What lessons can we draw for the sustainable and equitable management of GW resources that may be applicable in Nepal and Bihar?

[Article: Bangladesh-Research-Overview]