The Water Resources Coordination Division conducted two consecutive workshops: Sensitization Workshop on the Water Quality Standards (WQS) from June 3-4 and Workshop on Water Act and Regulation from June 6-8, 2019 at Paro.
A total of 36 participants comprising of representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, Ministry of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Works and Human Settlements, Bhutan Electricity Authority, National Center for Hydrology and Meteorology, Bhutan Chamber for Commerce and Industries, Association of Bhutanese Industries, Royal University of Bhutan, Royal Society for Protection of Nature, Tarayana Foundation and Dzongkhag Environment Officers of Paro, Thimphu and Wangdue attended the workshop.
The objectives of the Sensitization Workshop on the WQS were to inform the Competent Authorities (CAs) on the WQS adopted by the National Environment Commission (NEC) in the 47th NEC meeting in 2018 and its modalities as well as the Bhutan Drinking Water Quality Standards (BDWQS) developed in 2016. Furthermore A stock taking exercise was conducted during which the CAs namely the National Center for Hydrology and Meteorology, the Department of Industries under Ministry of Economic Affairs, Thromdes/Municipalities and the Royal Center for Disease Control listed the areas for which they conduct water quality monitoring, the parameters monitored, equipment and human resources available, and the issues and challenges faced in implementation of the WQS.
The objectives of the Workshop on Water Act and Regulation were to sensitize the CAs on their mandates as per the Water Act of Bhutan, 2011 and the Water Regulation of Bhutan, 2014 and to understand the gaps in implementation of the mandates. A stock taking exercise on the activities of the CAs along with gaps and challenges was undertaken. Furthermore, the CAs reviewed the Act and Regulation to identify any provisions or mandates that require addition, amendment or removal. Presentations on the draft Water Users Association Guidelines developed by the NECS, the Water Flagship Program and the Water Resources Technical Advisory Committee’s ToR and operational procedures were undertaken. Group work and discussion on the current water supply scenario and the possible models for a Water Agency were also undertaken.
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