Thimphu Dzong


What are the resource issues?

Identifying the Driving Issues for Stakeholders

The entire DrukDIF process must be dedicated to the specific requirements and issues of the respective stakeholders (DGPC, Hydromet, NSSC, NBC, GNHC, and ultimately a broader portfolio). The following "questions" represent the continuing identification of the driving issues for the Stakeholders, where It is useful to organize by sector. The key questions include:

What is the the "physical template" of the country, as the combined biogeophysical baseline of how the country is structured, on a geospatial basis?

Basic information on the physical structure and properties of the landscape is mandatory for multiple applications. The geospatial data and informaiton products are continuously developed in Drainage Basins.
• Structure of the basin
- Topography (multi-scale, including high resolution for hydropower)
- Geology (multi-scale, including high resolution for hydropower)
- River networks
• Soils and soil attributes (texture, fertility)
• Landcover and Landuse attributes
• Infrastructure

How does climate forcing vary across the country, from tomorrow's weather in a local basin, to climate scenarios of the future across the country?

Knowing climate, defined here as rainfall, daily temperature, and wind, is, of course, a key determinant of water resources. It is important to recognize that information is required at mulitple scales in space and time, and that each application has its own requirements for obtaining data, which poses signifcant challenges.

Relevant time scales include:

  •  Historical. For retropsective analyses, to establish how climate might be evolving, and to provide data for the calibration and validation of hydrology models.
  • "Last week" to  “today.” to "next week." To provide the basis for weather forecasts, and to provide drivers for the hydrology models to contribute to flood prediction and hydropower generation
  • Next month to season. To provide input for anticipating agricultural productivity.
  • Futures (next year, 2050). What might happen in the future, for longer term climate and planning scenarios.

 The DrukDIF information on precipatation, minimum and mximum daily temperature, and winds is Climate Forcing


How does landscape structure and climate interact to produce the distribtuion of water resources across the country, on multiple time and space scales?

The distribution of water across the landscape is deteremined by how the structure of a drainage basin converts climate forcing into evapotranspiration, soil mositure, and finally stream flow. This information is critical for mulitple purposes:

  • What are historical flow regimes?
  • Given the flow and weather "yesterday," what flow is available at specifc sites for hydropower?
  • Are there dangers of flooding?
  • What are patterns of soil moisture across the country, from immediate considerationsfor agriculture to broader patterns for biodiversity?

 The use of datasets and models used to determine flow are developed in Water Resources  

How do the physical attributes of drainage basins and the distribution of water influence the distributions of Biodiversity?

The distribution of the communities of flora and fauna that define biodiversity represent the biological patrimony of Bhutan. Much work has gone into knowing what species are present where. The next step is to examine the intersection between biodiversity and the more physical world. For example, preliminary data on the annual distribtuion of soil moisture (computed by the hydrology model) enabled NBC to gain insight on plant distributions.

  • What is the spatial extent of biodiversity across the country?
  • What is the biophysical basis of biodiversity?

As a start, part of the DrukDIF work was to conduct a detailed analysis of vegetation and vegetaion attributes along gradients in the Wangchhu basin, with the Gradsects project, as described in Biodiversity.

How do landscape structure, climate, and landuse practices produce agriculture and forestry productivity?

How the landscape is used sets the stage for how productive agriculture and forestry may e, and those practices in turn influence the landscape. Inappropriate practices may lead to land degradation and reduced productivity. Over a longer term, cliamte change would influence productivity.. These issue raise such questions as,

  • How can individual farmer productivity be increased?
  • Can agricultural productivity be predicted across the country, including under scenarios of climate change?

These issues are addressed in Landuse.


Information Requirements

Addressing this information requirements is what drives the DrukDIF process. Then there is the question, how can such complex information be disseminated and made “understandable” to not only immediate managers, but broader communities, from citizens to senior government officials? Advanced information technologies can advance how information can be used, for multiple purposes.