Yangyel Lhaden 

Around this time every year, residents in Changjiji would be running around with buckets and jerry cans ferrying water as their taps at home remain parched.

That used to be the routine for as long as residents can recall. However, this winter it was a different story.

Chimi Tenzin who lives in Changjiji said that the water supply has been continuous and residents in the area were happy with enough water round the clock.

“In the past years, water supply was limited to few hours a day and we had to plan our outings accordingly with water supply timing,” he said.

Residents in other parts of Thimphu also noted the improvement in the water supply.

A resident in Olakha, Sonam Wangmo said that it had been more than two months she did not face a water scarcity problem.

“You begin to know the value of water when you live in an area with acute water shortage. I make sure not to waste water even though I get enough now,” she said.

One of the places in Thimphu that faces an acute water shortage is Upper Changzamtog. A resident said that they experienced a better supply of water in the past few months compared to previous years.

Lower Changzamtog resident also said that thromde was quick to respond to fix the waterline  when the building she lived in had water supply issues for three days. “The water line was fixed the very next day I complaint to the thromde office.”

A thromde official said that based on feedback and complaints received from the public, thromde had been trying to improve the internal water network distribution. They also made necessary rectifications to ensure a continuous supply of water.

He said that the improved water supply this year could also be attributed to heavy snowfall this winter. “Water level from the source had not gone dropped as it usually did as compared to other winter seasons which helped us maintain the amount of water supplied.”

Thimphu thromde is planning to address the water shortage in Upper Changzamtog by supplying the reservoirs with water from Chamgang water source by laying a new water main line network to Upper Changzamtog.

Thimphu Thromde official said that about 60 percent of the pipes had been laid so far from Chamgang water source to connect with a reservoir in Upper Changzamtog.

“There is erratic supply at Upper Changzamtog area due to lack of sufficient water supply from the main water source to the reservoirs,” the official said.

Residents in Serbithang and some parts of Babesa have been fed with additional water from Royal Thimphu College (RTC) water source.

The official said that Babesa and Serbithang areas faced water shortages when the Chamgang water source dried in winter.

He said that in the next two months a two million litres per day ( MLD)  water treatment plant at RTC would complete and thereafter treated water would be supplied to these areas.

Thimphu thromde is also constructing a 3.5 MLD water treatment plant in Chamgang to provide treated water to the community above and around Semtokha Dzong and parts of the Semtokha E4 zone which is expected to be complete by end of this year.