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    March 2016

    Supported by:

    EGIS France

    Royal Society for the Protection of Nature and

    Bhutan Water Partnership

  • BHU-8623 EGIS/ RSPN/ BhWP


    National IWRM Plan 2016


    International boundaries shown on maps are not necessarily authoritative.

  • BHU-8623 EGIS/ RSPN/ BhWP


    National IWRM Plan 2016


    For the Royal Government and the people of Bhutan, water is one of the most important natural resources. It

    provides livelihood, it is vital to developing the economy, and it sustains the natural environment. Under the

    ise a d fa sighted leade ship of ou Mo a h, o i ed ith ou people s e e e e a d espe t fo atu e, we have treasured water and we have been blessed with an abundant natural supply.

    At the scale of river basins and even districts, there appears to be no pressing water scarcity. But this is an

    average picture, and it does not reflect large seasonal variations and differences in water availability at the local

    level. Even as large amounts of water are flowing in the deep gorges, it is generally inaccessible for many

    dispersed communities living on the mountain slopes. They can only access water from small springs and rivulets.

    There is also increasing pressure on the quantity and quality of our water resources due to rapid socio-economic

    development, the effects of which are further exacerbated by climate change. Concern over the availability of

    water for drinking and agriculture is growing as many spring water sources are drying up, and there is minimal

    flow in winter for hydropower generation.

    Therefore, it is important that all stakeholders understand the common issues and take a coordinated approach

    to a agi g Bhuta s ate esou es. The eed fo su h an approach was recognized by the Water Act of 2011 and the Water Regulation of 2014. The 11th FYP mandated the NEC Secretariat to prepare a National Integrated

    Water Resource Management Plan (NIWRMP).

    The overall goal of the Plan is to establish the framework and priorities for the implementation of integrated

    water resources management in Bhutan. The Plan presented here is based on a comprehensive assessment of

    the current situation and future prospects in light of growing water demands and the threat from climate

    change. The Plan establishes the principles and mechanisms under which agencies involved in the water sector,

    together with river basin stakeholders, can coordinate their respective plans and activities, as well as collectively

    monitor progress toward attainment of IWRM objectives.

    Therefore, the Plan serves as a foundation for water resource stakeholders to work together to achieve a

    o o goal of e su i g Bhuta s ate se u it . Wate se u it , as e plai ed i the Pla , is the apa it to provide sufficient and sustainable quantity and quality of water for all types of water needs and services, and to

    protect people from water-related disasters. Indicators of water security have been formulated for five key

    dimensions of water security: rural household water security, urban water security, economic water security,

    environmental water security, and security from adverse effects of climate change and natural disasters. These

    indicators are to be used as a means to coordinate agency plans, and to assess progress in achieving the

    objectives of IWRM.

    We are confident that the management principles and mechanisms established through this Plan will serve as a

    rallying point, and be used as practical guide for our collective endeavor toward water security. We hope that

    the key result areas and performance indicators for water security that have been formulated here will be taken

    on board by the Gross National Happiness Commission, and that these become integrated into the national and

    local planning and budgeting processes under the current 11th five-year plan and in the subsequent FYPs.

    Yeshey Dorji

    Minister In-charge and Vice Chairman

    National Environment Commission

  • BHU-8623 EGIS/ RSPN/ BhWP


    National IWRM Plan 2016


    In compliance with the Water Act and the 11th FYP, the Water Resources Coordination Division (WRCD), and

    the National Environment Commission Secretariat is pleased to present the National Integrated Water

    Resources Management Plan. It is the result of concerted efforts by different parties. Without their contribution

    this document would not have materialized.

    WRCD likes to thank particularly the Asian Development Bank and Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction for the

    financial and technical support extended to the Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) program

    being pursued in Bhutan. Special thanks go to the National Environment Commission for guidance and approval

    of the plan, and the Ministry of Finance for facilitating the technical assistance from the Asian Development


    WRCD is greatly indebted to the Technical Advisory Committee that was established to guide the development

    of the IWRM program and elaboration of the National Integrated Water Resources Management Plan

    (NIWRMP). The Technical Advisory Committee consisted of representatives from the following agencies: Map

    Production Division, National Land Commission; Department of Public Health, Ministry of Health; Renewable

    Natural Resources Engineering Division, Department of Agriculture, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry;

    Watershed Management Division, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry; Gross National Happiness Commission;

    Water and Sanitation Division, Ministry of Works and Human Settlements; Department of Disaster Management,

    Ministry of Housing and Cultural Affairs; Department of Local Governance, Ministry of Housing and Cultural

    Affairs; Flood Engineering Management Division, Ministry of Works and Human Settlement; Climate Change

    Division, National Environment Committee; Bhutan Chamber of Commerce and Industries; Department of

    Hydropower and Power Systems; Department of Hydro-Met Services; Department of Geology and Mines,

    Ministry of Economic Affairs; Tarayana Foundation; Royal Society for the Protection of Nature.

    WRCD is also grateful to the Technical Assistance team of EGIS (France) in joint venture with the Royal Society

    for the Protection of Nature and the Bhutan Water Partnership, who has put a lot of effort into the realization

    of the NIWRMP.

  • BHU-8623 EGIS/ RSPN/ BhWP


    National IWRM Plan 2016


    ADB Asian Development Bank

    AWDO Asian Water Development Outlook

    BCCI Bhutan Chamber of Commerce and Industries

    BhWP Bhutan Water Partnership

    BNWRI Bhutan National Water Resources Inventory

    BTFEC Bhutan Trust Fund for Environmental Conservation

    BWSI Bhutan Water Security Index

    CD Capacity Development

    CDTA Capacity Development Technical Assistance

    CFO Chief Forestry Officer

    CMIP5 Coupled Model Inter-comparison Project Phase 5

    DAO Dzongkhag Agricultural Officer

    DDM Department of Disaster Management

    DEC Dzongkhag Environment Committee

    DEO Dzongkhag Environment Officer

    DES Department of Engineering Services

    DG Director General

    DGM Department of Geology and Mines

    DHMS Department of Hydro-met Services

    DHPS Department of Hydropower and Power Systems

    DLO Dzongkhag Livestock Officer

    DMF Design and Monitoring Framework

    DOA Department of Agriculture

    DOFPS Department of Forest and Park Services

    DHMS Department of Hydromet Services

    DRC Department of Revenue and Customs

    EIA Environmental Impact Assessment

    ESD Environment Service Division

    FAO Food and Agricultural Organization (of the United Nations)

    FEMD Flood Engineering Management Division (MOWHS)

    FGD Focus Group Discussion

    GIS Geographical Information System

    GLOF Glacial Lake Outburst Flood

    GNHC Gross National Happiness Commission

    GNHCS Gross National Happiness Commission Secretariat

    IEC Information, Education and Communication

    IT Information Technology

    IWRM Integrated Water Resources Management

    JICA Japan International Cooperation Agency

    KPI Key Performance Indicator

    KRA Key Result Area

    m.a.s.l Meters above sea level

  • BHU-8623 EGIS/ RSPN/ BhWP


    National IWRM Plan 2016

    MOAF Ministry of Agriculture and Forest

    MOEA Ministry of Economic Affairs

    MOF Ministry of Finance

    MOH Ministry of Health

    MOHCA Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs

    MOWHS Ministry of Works and Human Settlements

    MPR Monthly Progress Report

    NEC National Environment Commis