About Blue Gold

The overall objective of the Blue Gold Program

Blue Gold logo 300To reduce poverty for 150,000 households living in 160,000 ha area of selected coastal polders by creating a healthy living environment and a sustainable socio-economic development.”


Bangladesh, the largest river delta in the world, depends largely for its economic growth on integrated and sustainable water resources management. The three major river systems of the country mark its physiography and life of its people. Its waters, its Blue Gold, have fundamentally shaped Bangladesh culture.  Efficient management of this immense natural resource remains a continuing challenge and offers at the same time tremendous opportunities.

About 38% of the population in the coastal regions of Bangladesh live below the poverty line and face high vulnerabilities in terms of insecurity of food, income, water and health. However, there are ample opportunities to harness the resources of the coastal areas that, if successfully achieved, can raise the population from poverty, create a sustainable environment and provide security and quality of life to present and future generations.

Blue Gold builds on the results and lessons learned from previous programs and projects in Bangladesh, notably the Integrated Planning for Sustainable Water Management (IPSWAM) program (2003-2012), Southwest Area Project, Char Development & Settlement Project-IV etc. and the Bangladesh and Dutch experiences and expertise in participatory water management in polders.

The essence of Blue Gold is to establish and empower community organizations/water management organizations (WMOs) to sustainably manage their water resources and to make these resources more productive. The Program aims to create strong cooperatives that will interact with public and private organizations that play a role in the development of the area. Participatory water resources management is the entry point and the initial driver of the community organization process. The explicit objective of Blue Gold is to reduce poverty of the people in the coastal areas by enhanced productivity of crops, fisheries and livestock and increasing incomes by improved processing and marketing of agricultural products including value chain development.


March 2013 – March 2019 (6 years)

Program Area

Districts of Patuakhali, Khulna and Satkhira (see: maps)



  • Government of the Netherlands (GoN)

Implementing partners:

  • Ministry of Water Resources, through Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) – Lead Agency
  • Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE)

Technical Assistance Consultants:

  • Euroconsult Mott MacDonald (lead)
  • FEMconsult
  • Socioconsult
  • BETS Consulting; IDE


Total budget: EURO 57.5 million
Contributing donor(s):
GoN: EURO 50.0 million
GoB: EURO 7.5 million

Contribution to Millennium Development Goals

Blue Gold specifically contributes in achieving the following Millennium Development Goals (MDG) for Bangladesh:

  • MDG1 “eradicate extreme poverty and hunger”
  • MDG3 “promote gender equality and empower women”
  • MDG7 “ensuring environmental sustainability” (access to safe drinking water and sanitation facilities)