We, NARBO secretariat visited Bhutan from 7th to 14th Sep. 2013 for the purpose of supporting the promotion of IWRM by investigating the status of water resources management in the country and contributing a Workshop on IWRM.
Since the Water Act of Bhutan was enacted in 2011 and now organizations concerned are making great effort to establish the Water Regulation, we could observe steady promotion of IWRM in Bhutan. The Act clearly defines Water Resources Right. According to that, “Water resources are the property of the State” and “Every individual shall have access to safe, affordable and sufficient water for basic human needs.” People can utilize water on the approval basis in accordance with environment-friendliness. In addition to those, the water usage is prioritized depending on the purpose. Also the responsibilities and role of competent agencies are prescribed clearly.
In this regard, it can be said that the Act and the Regulation are the very advanced ones measuring up to the philosophy and concept of the IWRM. National Environment Commission held a workshop on IWRM with the presence of the secretary of NEC. Officers from Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Economic Affair and so on took part in it, and NARBO secretariat made presentations on the topics of comparison between Bhutanese and Japanese water related regulations, and stakeholder-involvement in IWRM, which encouraged vigorous discussion.
In Punatsangchhu river basin, Punatsangchhu Phase Ⅰ and Ⅱ Projects are being implemented which will generate 1,200Mw electricity respectively. Phase Ⅰ Project consists of a gravity concrete dam of 136m height, a headrace tunnel of about 10km long, and a power station equipped with 6 turbines. The projects are jointly invested by Bhutanese and Indian governments. The electricity generated will not only be consumed in Bhutan but also be transmitted to India. Thanks to the good geological and hydrogeological conditions, the construction is advancing without major trouble.
Punatsangchhu Project Phase Ⅰ dam site