BUET- UNU International Workshop


Dhaka 5-7 May, 2001


Arsenic contamination of groundwater is a major public health problem in Bangladesh and West Bengal. Groundwater is free from pathogenic microorganisms and available in adequate quantity in shallow aquifers in the flood plains for development of low-cost tubewell based water supply for scattered rural population. Bangladesh achieved a remarkable success by providing 97% of the rural population with tubewell water. Unfortunately, arsenic in excess of acceptable limit has been found in shallow tubewell water in most parts of Bangladesh and in 8 districts in West Bengal, India. Ground water extracted by shallow tubewells from arsenic contaminated aquifers in the affected areas of Bangladesh can no longer be considered safe for drinking and cooking. On an average 27% of shallow tubewells in Bangladesh are producing water with arsenic in excess of Bangladesh standard of 0.05 mg/l for drinking water. In acute arsenic problem areas more than 90% of shallow tubewells are contaminated. The pattern of distribution of arsenic affected tubewells is erratic for which the changes cannot be predicted even within short distances. The success achieved for years together in rural water supply in Bangladesh and West Bengal is on the verge of collapse.

In Bangladesh, 10,000 people have been identified to be affected by arsenic poisoning. An estimated 35 million people are drinking tubewell water with arsenic content higher than the acceptable level in Bangladesh. In West Bengal about 5 million people are exposed to arsenic contamination. Arsenic toxicity has no known effective treatment, but drinking of arsenic contamination free water can help the arsenic affected people to get rid of the symptoms of arsenic toxicity. Therefore, provision of a clean and reliable supply of arsenic-free water is urgently needed for protection of health and well being of people living in areas with heavy arsenic contamination. In this respect, UNU has teamed up with BUET to investigate a number of treatment technologies and this research work has been extended to testing the technologies at pilot-scale in several villages. This work is considered to be a key contribution to the larger body of work being done on development, evaluation and validation of arsenic removal technologies and their implementation. This workshop is intended to provide a forum for deliberation and discussion on issues pertinent to development of arsenic removal technologies for a safe water supply.


To update the technological development in arsenic removal from contaminated groundwater for drinking water supply.

To assess the problems and prospects of treatment of arsenic contaminated water as a practical and sustainable solution to water supply problems in arsenic affected areas.

To identify prospective technologies for arsenic removal and delineate areas of further development for successful implementation and adaptation to rural conditions.


Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), Dhaka, Bangladesh and United Nations University (UNU), Tokyo, Japan will jointly organize the workshop. The workshop will be supported by the Environment and Sustainable Development (ESD) Program and the International Network for Water, Environment and Health (INWEH) of the UNU and International Training Network (ITN) - Bangladesh Center for Water Supply and Waste Management of BUET.


Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), Dhaka


5 May 2001: Saturday

  • 10:00 - 11:00 Formal Opening of the Workshop
  • 11:00 - 11:30 Tea Break
  • 11:30 - 01:00 Technical Session I
  • 01:00 - 02:00 Lunch Break
  • 02:00 - 04:30 Technical Session II
  • 04:30 05:00 Tea Break
  • 05:00 06:00 Technical Session III

6 May 2001: Sunday

  • Field Trip to Arsenic affected Areas

7 May 2001: Monday

  • 09:00 11:00 Technical Session IV
  • 11:00 11:30 Tea Break
  • 11:30 01:00 Concluding Session
  • 01:00 02:00 Lunch
  • Free Evening


This is a specialized workshop to deliberate and discuss the physical, physicochemical and biological processes in arsenic removal from arsenic contaminated waters including unit operations involved in the processes. The participants of the workshop are researchers, academicians and entrepreneurs working on arsenic removal technologies, representatives from international organizations working on this problem and professionals with practical work experience in arsenic problem areas and arsenic removal from drinking water.


The participants are required to have their names registered to attend the workshop. There is no registration fee for participants. The participants will receive a complimentary copy of the workshop publication " Technologies for Arsenic Removal from Drinking Water" containing the selected papers. The workshop will provide free lunch and tea and organize a field trip to see arsenic treatment units in an arsenic affected area. Please send the completed registration form to the contact address with a one page CV. Selected participants and authors of accepted papers will be invited for participation in the workshop.


Technical papers and case studies on technologies for arsenic removal from contaminated water are invited for the workshop. The selected papers will be presented by the authors and discussed in the workshop. Full papers not exceeding 10 pages ( single space, A4 size ) including figures and tables should reach the organizers before 20 March 2001. The authors may send the complete paper as a hard copy with a computer diskette containing the paper by post or as an e-mail attached file to itn@dhaka.agni.com .

The organizers may consider funding the participation of few authors of high quality papers and case studies from neighboring countries. All selected papers and case studies will be published in " Technologies for Arsenic Removal from Drinking Water" and distributed during the workshop.


Professor M. Feroze Ahmed
Department of Civil Engineering,
BUET, Dhaka-1000, Bangladesh
Telephones : (880 2) 9663693 (office) ; (880 2) 861 0366 (Residence)
Fax : (880 2) 9663695
E.mail :


Dr. M. Ashraf Ali
Department of Civil Engineering
BUET, Dhaka-1000, Bangladesh
Telephone: (880 2)8614640/7625 (o)

REGISTRATION (Please send the following Information) 

  1. Name :
  2. Designation :
  3. Academic Qualification :
  4. Contact Address:
           Telephone :
           Fax :
           E-mail Address :
  5. Title of Paper ( for Authors only) :
  6. Work Experience in the Field of Arsenic Problem:



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