The Water Resources Coordination Division conducted the E-flow Phase II: Kick-off meeting on February 28, 2020 in Thimphu. The Phase II (final phase) of the E-flow project titled ‘Study on Minimum Environmental Flow for Hydropower Projects in Bhutan’ is funded by the Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC) and will be implemented by the National Environment Commission Secretariat in collaboration with key stakeholders, between November 2019 and April 2022.
Phase II builds on Phase I of the project implemented between November 2014 and March 2019; (also funded by ADC) during which the guidelines for determination of E-Flow was developed; five sites were assessed using the guidelines; and the capacity of the key agencies and institutions to determine E-Flow was built. Phase II aims at institutionalization of E-Flow assessment and monitoring through development of a module for integration into the existing curricula of institutes; integration of the E-Flow guidelines into the hydropower detailed project report and guidelines; and development of guidelines for beyond run of the river hydropower schemes.
The workshop was attended by officials from the Department of Livestock and Department of Forests and Park Services (MoAF), Department of Hydropower and Power Systems (MoEA), Bhutan Electricity Authority, Gross National Happiness Commission, National Centre for Hydrology and Meteorology, Druk Green Power Corporation, Ugyen Wangchuck Institute for Conservation and Environmental Research, College of Science and Technology and the College of Natural Resources.
During the meeting, the overview of the project in terms of the outputs achieved in Phase I and the expected outputs and key activities of Phase II were presented. The work plan and budget plan for the project was discussed and the Multi Stakeholder Task Force and Technical Working Group were formed. Furthermore, the Terms of Reference for the recruitment of experts was reviewed and revised.