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E-flow Phase II: 3rd Project Steering Committee meeting

The Water Resources Coordination Division conducted the 3rd Project Steering Committee (PSC) meeting for the project ‘Study on Minimum Environmental Flow for Hydropower Projects in Bhutan – Phase II’ on February 8, 2021. Phase II of the project is funded by the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) and is implemented by the National Environment Commission Secretariat (NECS) in collaboration with key stakeholders, from November 2019 to April 2022. 

Phase II builds on Phase I of the project implemented between November 2014 and March 2019 (also funded by the ADA) during which the guideline for determination of E-Flow was developed; five sites were assessed using the guideline; and 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 guideline into the hydropower detailed project report and guidelines; and development of guideline for beyond run of the river hydropower schemes.

The PSC meeting was chaired by the Hon’ble Secretary of the NECS and attended by the Head of the Austrian Coordination Office (ACO) and officials from the Gross National Happiness Commission Secretariat, ACO and NECS.

During the meeting, the half yearly financial report from July-December 2020 was endorsed. Project updates were provided and possible amendments in consideration of the Covid-19 restrictions was discussed. Furthermore, the draft work plan and budget plan for the Fiscal Year 2021-2022 was presented. The PSC meeting served as a forum to discuss on the way forward in terms of implementing the project activities and effective budget utilization.

The PSC meeting is held biannually and ensures that the project is progressi ng effectively and the outputs are achieved.