My new research project in Bangladesh, with Kimberly Rogers, Amanda Carrico, Katharine Donato, and Carol Wilson, was featured in the National Science Foundation's announcement of this year's grants for research on coupled human-natural systems.
Bangladesh uniquely interests U.S. climate change researchers for a pair of reasons: Its place on the globe makes it particularly vulnerable to devastating weather events, and it's a predominantly Muslim nation that maintains a secular, pro-Western outlook.
Vanderbilt University's Jonathan Gilligan, associate professor of earth and environmental sciences, Steven Goodbred, professor of earth and environmental sciences, Brooke Ackerly, professor of political science, and their team travel there frequently though funding from the Office of Naval Research, The National Science Foundation, and other agencies, using Bangladesh as a climate change harbinger for our own coastal regions. Particularly evident is the way land use mismanagement, similar to what happens here, has affected flooding.
Far fewer people in Bangladesh have safe water than the state government has estimated, new research shows. In addition, many people who do not have access to safe drinking water are under the mistaken impression that their water is safe, drinkable, and clean.
According to the latest national assessment, 85 percent of the people in Bangladesh have access to safe drinking water. However, the new research uncovers two major problems that the national statistics don’t reflect.