Water resources management in bhutan
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Water Resources Management in Bhutan. G.Karma Chhopel. Introduction. Area 38,394 km 2 Population 634,982 (2005). Altitude range from 100m–above 7500m above msl. State of Environment. High-level political commitment 60% forest cover for all times Pristine Environment

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Water Resources Management in Bhutan

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Water resources management in bhutan

Water Resources Management in Bhutan

G.Karma Chhopel


Introduction

Introduction

Area 38,394km2

Population 634,982 (2005)

  • Altitude range from 100m–above 7500m above msl


State of environment

State of Environment

  • High-level political commitment

  • 60% forest cover for all times

  • Pristine Environment

    • 72.5% forest cover

  • 9% biological corridor

  • ~50% protected area


Water resources management in bhutan

  • Conservation jewel of the Eastern Himalayas

  • Flora and fauna

    • 7500 vascular plants (82 are endemic)

    • >300 medicinal plants,

    • 50 species rhododendron,

    • >40 species of orchids

    • 770 sps of Birds (14 IUCN)

    • 167 sps mammals (26 IUCN)

High bio-diversity concentration


Biodiveristy invertebrates

Biodiveristy - invertebrates

  • Rich biodiversity

  • Historical reasons; N-Thailand, N-Myanmar, Yunan, Assam, etc.

  • Rhyacophila 34 sps, 32 in Nepal

  • Glossosomatidae 16 sps,

    14 in Nepal

Epiophlebia laidlawi

Hydraena karmai


Water resources

Water Resources

  • Bhutan is endowed with rich perennial water resources due to its head water source fed with permanent glaciers & associated glacier lakes, vast forest coverage & recurrence monsoon

  • Four major river basins are:

  • Amochhu, Wangchhu, Punatsangchhu & Manas

  • Major rivers flows North to South culminating into Indian plains

  • 3 transboundary rivers: Amochhu, Kurichhu & Gamri


Water resources management in bhutan

Major River Systems

Wangchhu

Punatsangchhu

Amochhu

Manas


Water resources1

Water Resources

  • Most promising hydropower potential sites are located deep steep river reach in narrow valleys (30,000 MW)

  • All most all the hydropower projects are run-of-the-schemes except few storage schemes in the foot hills

  • Natural rivers/streams water quality is reported as excellent conditions expect at localized urban areas

  • Deep groundwater is virtually unused in Bhutan; hydro-geological science is still at infancy


Water resources in bhutan

Water Resources in Bhutan

98% urban and 88% rural population has access to safe drinking water


Middle path national environment strategy

Middle Path: National Environment Strategy

3 avenues to sustainable development

  • Agriculture Intensification

  • Hydropower

  • Industrialization

All the above are major users of water


Water act guiding elements

Water Act : Guiding Elements

7th Session of the Parliament, 31 May 2011

  • Ensure conservation & protection & sustainable management of Water Resources

  • Grant equity in water allocation and use

  • Respect traditional water rights if based on equity and social justice

  • Ensure licensing of water for commercial uses

  • Be supported by secondary legislations

  • Uphold international legal norms and conventions


Water act 2011 7 th session of the parliament 31 may 2011

Water Act 20117th Session of the Parliament, 31 May 2011

  • Coordinate national IWRM

  • Conduct inventory on water resources

  • River Basin Management Plan (River basin committees and WUAs)

  • Set WQ standards

  • Set minimum environmental flow


Challenges and consequences

Challenges and consequences

  • Unpredictable seasonality

  • Accelerated melting of glaciers

  • Extreme Climate: Higher incidence of flooding and dry spells

  • Reduction in over all river flows & water shortages

  • Drying of water sources & rivers


Challenges and consequences1

Challenges and consequences

  • Increasing demand from increasing populations

  • Unsustainable development of hydropower

  • Extinction of plant and animal species

  • GLOF is another

    serious threat


Adaptation measures

Adaptation measures

  • Investing in alternative sources of energy (solar, wind, biogas)

  • Establish flood & weather forecasting and advance warning systems

  • Build check-dams & water reservoirs using natural contours of riverbeds

  • Promote rainwater harvesting & WSUD

Green Roof


Adaptation measures contd

Adaptation measures (contd..)

  • Adopt drought resistant varieties of crops & livestock

  • Place more areas under parks and protected areas

  • Protect watersheds and wetlands


Regional national initiatives

Regional & National initiatives

  • Bhutan Climate Summit for the Eastern Himalayas Southern watershed

  • Establish strong upstream-downstream economic linkages (cost-benefit sharing)

  • Establish an effective networking system for information, data and technology

    • Focal institutes for glaciology, hydrology, energy, food security etc.

    • Conduct inventory of water resources


  • Regional national initiative

    Regional & National initiative

    • Conservation of wetlands

    • Improvement of irrigation systems

    • Promoting rational use of irrigation water

    • Control the spread of impervious ground cover that impedes the recharging of ground water resources


    International support

    International support

    • Funds and technology for mitigation and adaptation measures

    • Funds to develop sectoral rules and regulations

    • Technology/ knowledge transfer from institutions such as MRC

    • Support research & monitoring programmes


    Conclusion

    Conclusion

    • Events in HKH have global consequences (social, economy, ecology)

    • Strong evidence of climate change

    • Need to act now rather

      than later

    • Investing for the world


    Water resources management in bhutan

    བཀྲིེན་ཆེ་ལགས།


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