In the article we offer a strategic perspective upon tidal river management in Bangladesh. Tidal river management (TRM) enables the natural movement of sediment and tidal river flows into adjacent beels (lowlands), and is an innovation to elevate low-lying delta lands. The case analysis reveals that tidal river management is very different (local, natural, complex) from mainstream engineering strategies for tidal rivers and polder systems, and is strongly supported by local people for its potential livelihood improvement. We conclude that tidal river management has strategic potential, though this is hardly recognised in master plans. To advance practice, we recommend to focus on the diverse benefits of TRM (beyond land elevation!), such as restored tidal rivers, flora and fauna. Further research could elaborate livelihood models that thrive on diverse benefits, and evaluate their costs and benefits accordingly.
Rethinking sediments, tidal rivers and delta livelihoods: tidal river management as a strategic innovation in Bangladesh; Chris Seijger; Dilip Kumar Datta; Wim Douven; Gerardo van Halsema; Malik Fida Khan, Water Policy (2018) 21 (1): 108-126. https://doi.org/10.2166/wp.2018.212
Chris Seijger, Freiburg University and IHE Delft