Bhutan is blessed with one of the most important natural resources, water. Water is the backbone of the Kingdom’s economy with hydropower playing an ever increasing importance in revenue generation. However due to rapid socio-economic development, the pressure on water resource is increasing every year. To address this concern, the National Environment Commission has drafted a water bill.
It will ensure sustainable use of water and also address water related issues in the future.
So far there is no specific act or an authority to look after the kingdom’s water resource. The government has been protecting the environment and human health through integrated water resource management to ensure safe drinking water and sanitation for the people.
The National Environment Commission has drafted a Water bill. A three day retreat on Draft Water Act began today in Paro. The drafting committee members and relevant stakeholders will be reviewing the draft Water Act during the retreat.
The Deputy Minister of National Environment Commission, Dasho Nado Rinchen said pressure on water resource is increasing every year and it is timely for Bhutan to have a legal provision on water.
The draft water act has provisions on planning and management, rights to use the water resource, legal provisions on water pollution and mechanisms to solve water related disputes.
Dasho Nado Rinchen said the draft bill also demands an authoritative body to look after water resources. He said so far there is no organization or ministry to manage the water resource in the country.
A series of national and regional consultation meetings will be held on the draft Act before it is submitted to the cabinet and the parliament. The draft Act will be submitted to the winter session of the parliament this year for endorsement.