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E-flow Phase II: Inception Workshop

The Water Resources Coordination Division conducted the Inception Workshop for the project ‘Study on Minimum Environmental Flow for Hydropower Projects in Bhutan – Phase II’ from February 25-26, 2021. The project is funded by the Austrian Development Agency and is implemented by the National Environment Commission Secretariat in collaboration with key stakeholders, from November 2019 to April 2022.

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 workshop was attended by officials from the Department of Agriculture and National Research Centre for Riverine Lakes and Fisheries, Department of Livestock (MoAF), Department of Hydropower and Power Systems (DHPS, MoEA), Bhutan Electricity Authority, Gross National Happiness Commission Secretariat, Druk Green Power Corporation Limited, Ugyen Wangchuck Institute for Conservation and Environmental Research, College of Natural Resources and Sherubtse College. Participants from the National Center for Hydrology and Meteorology and the College of Science and Technology along with the international experts attended the workshop virtually.

On Day 1 of the meeting, the overview of the inception report in terms of each of the work packages was presented and discussed. Additional supplemental components to be developed for beyond run of the river hydropower schemes was discussed; the module content was deliberated upon; and possibilities of integration were proposed. On Day 2, a preliminary needs assessment of the sectors and institutions in terms of implementing the E-flow module were assessed including their existing expertise, equipment and software. During the workshop DHPS also presented on the Guidelines for Development of Hydropower Projects 2018, and the Power System Master Plan 2040; and the institutions presented on their existing modules on modelling. The participants are the members of the project’s Technical Working Group which serves as a group to guide and advise the progress of the project activities, provide related data and information, and participate in the assessments and discussion in delivering the project outputs