Thimphu Thromde notification spurs public outcry and call for action plan amidst water shortages

Following the release of a notification by Thimphu Thromde on 24 April 2024, addressing the lean water flow season and potential water shortages in Thimphu, a surge of comments from the public ensued, expressed grievances and concerns. In response, Thromde officials provided explanations regarding the situation and their current actions and future plans to address the issue.

The notification read, “The public is hereby notified that during the lean flow season spanning March, April, and May, water levels across all sources have significantly diminished compared to their usual levels. Consequently, certain areas within Babesa, Changidaphu, and Kawajangsa may encounter shortages in water supply”.

The Thromde authorities anticipate an improvement in the water supply conditions in the near future. However, until such improvements are realised, the Thromde urges all users of the Thromde water supply and community water supply to exercise prudence in their water usage, and refrain from any wasteful practices.

The specific decreases in water levels at various sources are as follows: Mothithang water source has experienced a reduction of 40 percent, while the E4 water source and RTC water source have both seen a decrease of 60 percent. Additionally, the Chamgang water source has encountered the most significant decline, with a decrease of 70 percent. These reductions highlight the severity of the current water shortage situation and emphasise the importance of conservation efforts by all members of the community.

Expressing frustration over the recurring water shortages in certain areas of Babesa, Changidaphu, and Kawajangsa. Sangay Dorji said, “There is a need for proactive measures from the Thromde authorities for the utilisation of alternative water sources such as the Wangchhu River, suggesting that tapping into such resources could alleviate the perennial issue faced during lean flow seasons.”

He criticised the past promises made by Thromde regarding solutions to water scarcity, citing the example of the Begana source, which, despite being tapped, has failed to resolve the problem.

Similarly, Kumar Chamling said that the persistent nature of the water shortage problem despite changes in leadership. He raised questions about the efficacy of past efforts, querying the allocation of resources for sending experts abroad for training and studies.

On the other hand, Thromde clarified that the notification meant that the places mentioned might experience water shortages if there is a continuous sunny day for two weeks, which guarantees drying up of the water source more and the issue of water problems.

Thromde said that Thimphu is mostly likely to experience its past track record of water shortages during this time around. They said that upon their inspection, although there is water available, it is in much lesser quantity than before.

Thromde said that the most affected is Babesa due to its denser populations, and Thromde water source also supplies water to other committees and Debsi. 

Thimphu Thromde said that they have plans look for different tributaries for water sources. Currently, works are underway to connect places to different water sources.

It was mentioned that Thromde usually receives many calls from the tenants that they do not receive water for weeks, and it was said that most of the time the person assigned to the building to dispense the water in a timely manner does not do their job.

Thromde said that in places where there are genuine water shortages, Thromde provides them with water tankers free of charge.

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