Once upon a time, people in Bhutan depend on the streams nearby their village for daily consumption of water. Looking behind more than a decade it is the history of water works in Bhutan that has galloped a long way. Water supply system of Bhutan is a small business because most of the people use water from natural sources to consume. When maximum of its population are in rural area, people are benefited and supplied water through Rural Water Supply Scheme (RWSC). The very source of the supply is perennial streams and rivers.
Due to the introduction of five years plan and the democratically elected government almost all the nook and corners of the country is supplied and facilitated with pure safe drinking water supply.
With the increase in population in the urban areas, the need of water plant was then born. Cities like Thimphu and Phuntsholing has water supply which is limited to commercial premises such as hotels and factories. Water plant of Thimphu has a capacity of 6,500 cubic meters per day. And still Samdrup Jongkhar town doesn’t have the facilities of water treatment plant.
However the source of raw water in the country obtained from the mountains are clean and pure. It is not necessary to go through process of filtration, sedimentation, or the use of chemicals in the treatment process.
The crisis of water is still a big question. Recently villagers of Mongar district are in court for the damaging and deflecting their water source by another village.
Most of the towns and cities are now complaining and crying foul over shortage of water supply. The size of the cities and the types of gentry and habits of people are increasing which demand huge quantity of water which are required for maintaining clean and healthy environment. If the cities are provided with flush system, water consumption will be more than the old conservation system of latrines is adopted, which directly deal with development of sewerage facilities.
Water demand for industries will be huge considering the plan of up-coming industries in the country. And in the thickly populated and industrial areas, fire generally breaks out, which requires huge quantity of water for firefighting squads.
The quality of water and pressure in the distribution system determines the amount consumption too. Better the quality more the consumption will be. If the pressure in the distribution pipe is high and sufficient to make the water reach at 3rd or even 4th story, water consumption will definitely be more. And also due to the daily variation of temperature which always keeps on increasing leads to increment of more usage of water because more bathing, cleaning, air coolers, air conditioning etc are involved.
The very critical issue is the perennial streams and rivers that are used in the villages as direct sources for supply are getting dried up. Their volume decreases yearly accounting water shortage even in the homes of the far away villages.
The knowledge and training to improve water treatment process, training to develop the management waterworks skills both the water quality and technology in the laboratory to determine water quality, consulting ground water, innovation of small waterworks, preparing a master plan for waterworks in city, knowledge of water meters and water storage costs, the expansion of production capacity of the plant, using GIS applications in the pipeline system and management the loss of water etc should become the real need of long term water development of water work in Bhutan.