Bhutan: Water Flagship Program Sector Project

Sovereign Project | 42173-017

The project will provide safe, sustainable and inclusive drinking water, and irrigation services to about 100,000 people who suffer from water insecurity in Thimphu and Gelephu municipalities (Thromdes) and Chhukha, Wangdue Phodrang, Zhemgang and Mongar districts (Dzongkhag) of Bhutan. It will adopt disaster- and climate-resilient designs and improve institutional and local communities' capacity for sustainable drinking water and irrigation services.

Project Name Water Flagship Program Sector Project
Project Number 42173-017
Country Bhutan
Project Status Proposed
Project Type / Modality of Assistance Grant
Loan
Source of Funding / Amount
Grant: Water Flagship Program Sector Project
Asian Development Fund US$ 6.00 million
Loan: Water Flagship Program Sector Project
Concessional ordinary capital resources lending US$ 14.00 million
Strategic Agendas Environmentally sustainable growth
Inclusive economic growth
Drivers of Change Gender Equity and Mainstreaming
Governance and capacity development
Knowledge solutions
Partnerships
Sector / Subsector

Agriculture, natural resources and rural development / Irrigation - Rural water supply services

Water and other urban infrastructure and services / Urban water supply

Gender Equity and Mainstreaming Effective gender mainstreaming
Description The project will provide safe, sustainable and inclusive drinking water, and irrigation services to about 100,000 people who suffer from water insecurity in Thimphu and Gelephu municipalities (Thromdes) and Chhukha, Wangdue Phodrang, Zhemgang and Mongar districts (Dzongkhag) of Bhutan. It will adopt disaster- and climate-resilient designs and improve institutional and local communities' capacity for sustainable drinking water and irrigation services.
Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy

Bhutan has the highest per capita freshwater availability in South Asia. However, the country is confronted with localized and seasonal water shortages for drinking and agricultural purposes because of its topography (steep mountains and deep valleys), insufficient infrastructure, and limited capacity for sustainable service delivery. Although 97.2% of the country's population (757,042 people) is served by basic drinking water services, access to safe and reliable (safely managed) drinking water remains a challenge for most people in rural and urban areas. Water supply is mostly intermittent, often ranging from 4 to 12 hours per day, and not reliable for 18.4% of households. Only 36.2% of Bhutan's population is served by water that is reported as free from contamination. Irrigation services coverage is limited to 32% of irrigable land, mostly designed for paddy cultivation, and a third of existing irrigation systems have scarce or inadequate water supply. As a result, people in rural and urban Bhutan, especially women and the poor, sacrifice productive time collecting water and/or coping with water-borne diseases. Farmers' income is constrained by no or limited irrigation services, which lowers agricultural productivity.

Water infrastructure development in Bhutan has not coped with the level of population growth (1.3% per annum between 2005 and 2017) and urbanization (37.8%), and is insufficient to fulfill the current service demand in rural villages, district towns, and city areas. Underdeveloped drinking water and irrigation infrastructure leaves pockets of rural population to rely on unreliable drinking water services (20.2% of rural households) and rainfed agriculture. Peri-urban areas of cities (e.g., in the national capital Thimphu) and towns (e.g. Bajo, Gedu, Tshimasham and Zhemgang) are still served by old community or rural water supply schemes (RWSS), which are poorly functional, unreliable, and do not have sufficient capacity to provide sustainable services to current and future population. These schemes are also characterized by poor drinking water quality because of insufficient treatment infrastructure and water and sanitation safety planning. Gelephu city and towns such as Mongar rely on water sources such as infiltration galleries or small streams, which are at risk from washing off during monsoons and drying up in winter. Nonrevenue water is estimated to be 30%-55% in urban centers due to aging infrastructure, and poor operation and maintenance (O&M) and demand management. Thimphu's core area distribution network is worn out with high physical losses water and almost no metering in certain areas.

The project will (i) establish and/or rehabilitate drinking water and irrigation infrastructure and make it disaster- and climate-resilient, (ii) strengthen the capacity and awareness of institutions and local communities in safe, sustainable and resilient water management and sanitation, and (iii) establish climate smart water management system

Impact

(i) Sustainable water achieved (Twelfth Five-Year Plan 2018-2023 - National Key Result Area 17)

(ii) Food self-sufficiency and nutrition security enhanced (Twelfth Five Year Plan 2018-2023 - National Key Result Area 8)

Outcome Access to safe, efficient, reliable, sustainable and inclusive drinking water and irrigation services improved in the project area
Outputs

Disaster- and climate-resilient drinking water supply and irrigation infrastructure developed and/or upgraded

Capacity and awareness of institutions and local communities in safe, sustainable and climate-resilient water management and sanitation strengthened

Climate smart water management system established

Geographical Location Nation-wide
Safeguard Categories
Environment B
Involuntary Resettlement B
Indigenous Peoples C
Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects
Environmental Aspects
Involuntary Resettlement
Indigenous Peoples
Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation
During Project Design
During Project Implementation
Business Opportunities
Consulting Services A project management unit (PMU) will be established in the Department of Engineering Services (Water and Sanitation Division) of the MOWHS for overall project management and will include staff from MOAF for irrigation subprojects design and implementation. A project implementation unit in each district and municipality will conduct procurement and be responsible for subproject implementation at the local level with support from PMU.
Procurement A project management unit (PMU) will be established in the Department of Engineering Services (Water and Sanitation Division) of the MOWHS for overall project management and will include staff from MOAF for irrigation subprojects design and implementation. A project implementation unit in each district and municipality will conduct procurement and be responsible for subproject implementation at the local level with support from PMU.
Responsible ADB Officer Di Mario, Luca
Responsible ADB Department South Asia Department
Responsible ADB Division Urban Development and Water Division, SARD
Executing Agencies
Department of Engineering Services (DES)
Ministry of Works & Human Settlement
Drentoen Lam, Thimphu Bhutan
Timetable
Concept Clearance 03 Dec 2020
Fact Finding 20 Sep 2021 to 24 Sep 2021
MRM 10 Dec 2021
Approval -
Last Review Mission -
Last PDS Update 03 Dec 2020

Project Data Sheets (PDS) contain summary information on the project or program. Because the PDS is a work in progress, some information may not be included in its initial version but will be added as it becomes available. Information about proposed projects is tentative and indicative.

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Title Document Type Document Date
Water Flagship Program Sector Project: Initial Poverty and Social Analysis Initial Poverty and Social Analysis Dec 2020

Safeguard Documents See also: Safeguards
Safeguard documents provided at the time of project/facility approval may also be found in the list of linked documents provided with the Report and Recommendation of the President.

None currently available.


Evaluation Documents See also: Independent Evaluation

None currently available.


Related Publications

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The Access to Information Policy (AIP) establishes the disclosure requirements for documents and information ADB produces or requires to be produced in its operations to facilitate stakeholder participation in ADB's decision-making. For more information, refer to the Safeguard Policy Statement, Operations Manual F1, and Operations Manual L3.

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Tenders

No tenders for this project were found.


Contracts Awarded

No contracts awarded for this project were found


Procurement Plan

None currently available.