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Shortage of water at homes has now become a daily routine for the residents of Thimphu. Most areas in Thimphu thromde experience fluctuating degrees of water shortage. While some homes receive water once a day, some are left without water for days.

Tshewang Dema a shopkeeper and resident of Changzamtog said that since she occupied her house six months ago, she has been facing constant water problem. “I still have my dishes and clothes piled up.”

She said there has been no water for the last one week.  “Although it is better this week, it still comes only early in the morning or at night,” the 39-year old mother of three said.

A resident of Changbangdo, Dechen Choki, said the area did not have any water supply in the past when the town was starting. However, the water supplied improved when thromde’s water supply reached the area three years ago. “With the private source and thromde supply, we had enough water.”

However, she said with the increase in construction and population in the area, the area has been facing more water problems since last year. “Now we manage by collecting the little water we have divided among ourselves from the private source and the water supplied from thromde. If it was only one source it would be difficult to manage our day to day chores.”

The 56-year old added that it is especially difficult to manage water in buildings with more than three stories as the water has to be divided among the tenants. “We would be grateful if the thromde could provide sufficient water as soon as possible.”

Thrompon Kinlay Dorjee said that thromde areas such as Norzimlam and Changzamtog face the most water shortage.

He said that the recent shortage of water in areas such as Changzamtog, Olakha, Changjiji and Babase are due to sources at Chamgang and Motithang drying up and disruption in the supply lines. “Almost one third of the source at Motithang had dried up. The water source at Motithang had reached from 9,000 cubic meter of supply per day to 6,000 cubic meter per day,” he said.

The two sources, he said experience such dry ups annually around March and April. However, due to the recent rainfall, the sources are regaining supply. The supply from Mothithang had reached 8,600 cubic meter per day as of yesterday.

Thrompon Kinlay Dorjee said that the supply of water from Chamgang is also disrupted due to the pipelines being washed away by a landslide. “The pipelines were poorly constructed. So, we are laying a second pipe along the stable road side.”

Changzamtog, core areas, Kawajangsa and Changjiji are supplied from the source at Motithang while Olakha, Babesa, Lungtenphug and Changbangdo are supplied from Chamgang.

The thromde water supply covers about 70 percent of thromde area.

Thromde supplies more than 20 million litres a day (MLD) of water every day from its sources- Jungshina, Chamgang and Motithang with a capacity of 6.5 MLD each, 1.5 MLD in Dechencholing, and six boreholes around the thromde area.

The water supply from Dodena and the treatment plant in Taba, once completed in November this year is expected to address the water shortage the thromde is facing.  “The water from Dodena would be supplied to areas which are currently facing water problems and areas where thromde water supply is yet to reach,” the thrompon said.

In future the thromde is also looking into building a water treatment plant above Royal Thimphu College to supplement the water supply from Chamgang.

Karma Cheki

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