Bhutan : Water Flagship Program Support 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 Details

  • Project Officer
    Morsheda, Elma
    Sectors Group
    Request for information
  • Country/Economy
    Bhutan
  • Sector
    • Water and other urban infrastructure and services
Project Name
Water Flagship Program Support Project
Project Number
42173-017
Country / Economy
  • Bhutan
Project Status
Active
Project Type / Modality of Assistance
  • Grant
  • Loan
Source of Funding / Amount
Grant 0874-BHU: Water Flagship Program Support Project
Source Amount
Asian Development Fund US$ 6.00 million
Grant 9233-BHU: Strengthening Communities' Capacity for Sustainable and Climate -resilient water management and farmers' livelihoods
Source Amount
Japan Fund for Prosperous and Resilient Asia and the Pacific US$ 2.00 million
Loan 4281-BHU: Water Flagship Program Support Project
Source Amount
Concessional ordinary capital resources lending US$ 14.00 million
Operational Priorities
  • OP2: Accelerating progress in gender equality
  • OP3: Tackling climate change, building climate and disaster resilience, and enhancing environmental sustainability
  • OP4: Making cities more livable
  • OP5: Promoting rural development and food security
  • OP6: Strengthening governance and institutional capacity
Sector / Subsector
  • Agriculture, natural resources and rural development / Irrigation - Rural water supply services

  • Water and other urban infrastructure and services / Urban water supply

Gender
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

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

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

Project Outcome

Description of Outcome

Resilience of residents and farmers to climate and disaster risks strengthened

Progress Toward Outcome
Activities are ongoing.

Implementation Progress

Description of Project Outputs

Climate- and disaster-resilient drinking water supply and irrigation infrastructure developed

Climate-smart water management systems established

Capacity, governance, and awareness of inclusive, resilient, and sustainable water management strengthened

Solutions for improved and climate-resilient farmers' livelihoods introduced

Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)

TThe following packages have been awarded and construction is ongoing (i) Construction of Distribution Network for Pamtsho, Thimphu, and (ii) Construction of Water Treatment Plant for Pamtsho. Physical completion as of Q4 2023 is 30% for both packages. For other works packages procurement activities are ongoing. The bidding documents for goods packages are being prepared and bidding will commence tentatively in Q2 2024.

Consultation meetings with the farmers were conducted in line with the JFPR outputs (i.e., existing system of water institutions, gaps and issues, expectations from the farmers on improved and sustainable water management for the integrated water supply system, WASH, among others). The terms of reference (TOR) for the civil society organization and individual consultant (Trust Fund Coordinator) are being finalized. The recruitment will be initiated indicatively by Q2 2024.

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.

An estimated 159 person-months (24 international, 135 national) for the Project Management and Supervision Consultant (PMSC) are required to (i) facilitate project management and implementation, (ii) strengthen construction supervision, (iii) support community mobilization activities, (iv) strengthen the institutional and operational capacity of the executing and implementing agencies, (v) support with preparation and verification of detailed engineering designs, and (vi) provide tariff implementation guidelines. Another consultant Capacity Building and Livelihood Support Consultant (CBLSC) shall be supporting components funded under JFPR grant. Key activities of this consultant include (i) establishing water users' associations at community level for effective water use and water resource management; (ii) strengthening capacity of local communities in water service delivery and increasing community awareness on safe, sustainable and climate resilient water management and sanitation; and (iii) enhancing resilient rural livelihood. Both the consulting firms will be engaged using the quality- and cost-based selection (QCBS) method with a standard quality-cost ratio of 90:10. Individual consultants will be engaged using the individual consultant's selection method.

Procurement

A project management unit (PMU) has been 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.

Value for money will be achieved through single-point responsibility contracts (e.g., design, supply, and installation with O&M) for the drinking water treatment plant in Thimphu-Pamtsho and climate-smart water management systems. The combination of capital cost and O&M will result in selecting the solution that offers the greatest value for money. This is enhanced by the strategic packaging of remaining procurement into small works packages with national advertising and one large package for international advertising given its size and complexity.

Contact

Responsible ADB Officer
Morsheda, Elma
Responsible ADB Department
Sectors Group
Responsible ADB Division
Water and Urban Development Sector Office (SG-WUD)
Executing Agencies
Department of Infrastructure Development
Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport

Timetable

Concept Clearance
03 Dec 2020
Fact Finding
20 May 2022 to 08 Jun 2022
MRM
14 Oct 2022
Approval
12 Dec 2022
Last Review Mission
-
Last PDS Update
27 Mar 2024

Funding

Grant 0874-BHU

Milestones
Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
12 Dec 2022 14 Dec 2022 16 Jan 2023 30 Jun 2030 - -
Financing Plan
  Total (Amount in US$ million)
Project Cost 6.00
ADB 6.00
Counterpart 0.00
Cofinancing 0.00
Grant Utilization
  Date ADB Others Net Percentage
Cumulative Contract Awards 06 Jun 2024 0.00 0.00 0%
Cumulative Disbursements 06 Jun 2024 0.00 0.00 0%

Grant 9233-BHU

Milestones
Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
12 Dec 2022 14 Dec 2022 16 Jan 2023 30 Jun 2030 - -
Financing Plan
  Total (Amount in US$ million)
Project Cost 2.00
ADB 0.00
Counterpart 0.00
Cofinancing 2.00
Grant Utilization
  Date ADB Others Net Percentage
Cumulative Contract Awards 06 Jun 2024 0.00 0.00 0%
Cumulative Disbursements 06 Jun 2024 0.00 0.00 0%

Loan 4281-BHU

Milestones
Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
12 Dec 2022 14 Dec 2022 16 Jan 2023 30 Jun 2030 - -
Financing Plan
  Total (Amount in US$ million)
Project Cost 15.80
ADB 14.00
Counterpart 1.80
Cofinancing 0.00
Loan Utilization
  Date ADB Others Net Percentage
Cumulative Contract Awards 06 Jun 2024 2.33 0.00 17%
Cumulative Disbursements 06 Jun 2024 1.62 0.00 12%

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.

The Access to Information Policy (AIP) recognizes that transparency and accountability are essential to development effectiveness. It establishes the disclosure requirements for documents and information ADB produces or requires to be produced.

The Accountability Mechanism provides a forum where people adversely affected by ADB-assisted projects can voice and seek solutions to their problems and report alleged noncompliance of ADB's operational policies and procedures.

In preparing any country program or strategy, financing any project, or by making any designation of, or reference to, a particular territory or geographic area in this document, the Asian Development Bank does not intend to make any judgments as to the legal or other status of any territory or area.


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.

Title Document Type Document Date
Water Flagship Program Support Project: Environmental Monitoring Report (July-December 2023) Environmental Monitoring Reports May 2024
Water Flagship Program Support Project: Social Monitoring Report (July-December 2023) Social Monitoring Reports Feb 2024
Water Flagship Program Support Project: Social Monitoring Report (January-June 2023) Social Monitoring Reports Jul 2023
Water Flagship Program Support Project: Environmental Monitoring Report (January-June 2023) Environmental Monitoring Reports Jul 2023
Water Flagship Program Support Project: Upgradation of Existing Water Treatment Plant at Dangrina, Dechencholing and Distribution Networks at Pamtsho and Jungshina Areas Draft Resettlement Plan Resettlement Plans Oct 2022
Water Flagship Program Support Project: Pamtsho, Thimphu Thromde Drinking Water Supply Subproject Draft Initial Environmental Examination Initial Environmental Examination Oct 2022
Water Flagship Program Support Project: Construction of Integrated Drinking Water and Irrigation from Hetshotsamchu, Gasetsho Gom and Gasetsho Wom Gewogs Draft Land Acquisition and Involuntary Resettlement Due Diligence Report Safeguards Due Diligence Reports Oct 2022
Water Flagship Program Support Project: Draft Resettlement Framework Resettlement Frameworks Oct 2022
Water Flagship Program Support Project: Hetshotsamchu Integrated Drinking Water and Irrigation Scheme Subproject Draft Initial Environmental Examination Initial Environmental Examination Oct 2022
Water Flagship Program Support Project: Zhemgang Integrated Drinking Water and Irrigation Scheme Subproject Draft Initial Environmental Examination Initial Environmental Examination Oct 2022
Water Flagship Program Support Project: Construction of Integrated Drinking Water and Irrigation at Trong Gewog and Zhemgang Town Draft Land Acquisition and Involuntary Resettlement Due Diligence Report Safeguards Due Diligence Reports Oct 2022

Evaluation Documents See also: Independent Evaluation

None currently available.


Related Publications

None currently available.


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.

Requests for information may also be directed to the InfoUnit.

Tenders

Tender Title Type Status Posting Date Deadline
Trust Fund Grant Implementation Support Individual - Consulting Closed
42173-BHU: Water Flagship Program Support Project [CW-02] Invitation for Bids Closed
42173-BHU: Water Flagship Program Support Project [DB-01] Invitation for Bids Closed
42173-BHU: Water Flagship Program Support Project [CW-01] Invitation for Bids Closed
Project Management and Supervision Consultant Firm - Consulting Closed
42173-017 BHU: Water Flagship Program Sector Project Advance Notice Active

Contracts Awarded

Contract Title Approval Number Contract Date Contractor | Address Executing Agency Total Contract Amount (US$) Contract Amount Financed by ADB (US$)
Project Management and Supervision Consultant Loan 4281 28 Feb 2024 Environment and Resources Management Consultant Private Limited in Joint Venture with Progressive Research & Consultancy Service and Udaya Consultancy Private Limited | Puja Pratisthan Marga-91, New Baneshwor, Kathmandu, Nepal Department of Infrastructure Development 904,513.85 882,464.19

Procurement Plan

Title Document Type Document Date
Water Flagship Program Support Project: Procurement Plan Procurement Plans Aug 2022