In rural areas, more than 97% of the population relies on groundwater for its drinking water supply. In Dhaka, 82% of the water supply is abstracted from groundwater that is free of arsenic, while three surface water treatment plants provide the remaining 18%.Groundwater is being severely depleted in Dhaka where the groundwater levels are dropping at two to three metres every year. The city’s water table has sunk by 50 metres in the past four decades and the closest underground water is now over 60 meters below ground level. The Asian Development Bank estimated in 2007 that by 2015 a severe supply shortage would occur if the utility did not reduce groundwater abstraction
Access to safe water is a pre-condition for ensuring better hygiene and health to the household members in any community as it is positively associated with a number of diseases that include, among others, skin disease, ARI and other waterborne diseases. Our study results show that in rural area, use of tube -well as a source of drinking water is almost universal (93.7%) with an overall average use of 85.0 percent. In contrast, 72.9 percent of the urban households have access to this source. Comparison of this figure with the previous year‘s figure shows Report on Bangladesh Sample Vital Statistics 2015 ||| 11 that use of tape water in urban area has substantially increased over the last one year: from 59.4 percent in 2014 to 72.9 percent in 2015. Our investigation reveals that overall tube well water use has declined by 2.5 percent over the last one year. The tap water users account for a little more than 26 percent in the urban area and only 3.7 percent in the rural area. The corresponding use rates in 2014 were 39.7 percent and 1.7 percent.At the divisional level, tube-well use varies from 74.6 percent in Dhaka division to 97.2 percent in Rangpur division. The corresponding use rates in these two divisions were 78.6 percent and 98.6 percent respectivelyin 2014. Other sources of drinking water are well, pond or ditch, river, canal and rain water that together comprise 2.2 percent of the total use. The Education Household Survey, 2014 reports an overall use of 83 percent with 91.5 percent in rural area and 56.3 percent in urban area. The level of use of tap water in EHS, 2014 agrees quite well with the SVRS 201 5 findings.