|Town/Region||Kurichhu Hydropower Plant|
|Date||23 Jan 2017|
Today Bhutan has 23 mini-micro hydropower and five mega hydropower plants generating about 1614.8 Mega Watt (MW). There are six mega hydropower plants under construction, projected to generate about 4228 (MW). Another nine mega hydropower projects are planned and expected to generate 7982 MW. When all these hydropower plants are established, the entire river system in the country will be dammed and anticipated severe threats on aquatic biodiversity. Previously constructed and those hydropower under construction covers least information on aquatic biodiversity limiting to fish diversity. Hardly any information is available on freshwater benthic macroinvertebrate, plants and physioco-chemical properties. The studies has suggested that downstream site of hydropower dam had the most effect on community structure of benthic invertebrates indicating that diverting the water current completely is harmful on macroinvertebrate diversity. Experts have proved ladder constructed at the hydropower plants do not serve the purpose for all species because of the varying species behaviour and preference.
The present project area Kurichhu Hydropower Plant is one of the established mega projects generating 60 MW. The dam has fish passage, the ladder constructed for migratory fish where we do not know its efficacy. Freshwater diversity was not documented prior to establishment of hydropower nor after the establishment. Therefore this study is aimed to document the benthic macroinvertebrates and fish diversity at the fragmented stretch of hydropower plant. Efficacy of the fish ladder will also be assessed particularly for migratory fish during spring and autumn season. Sampling will involve the filed assistant from territorial forest divisions, Fishery Centre, Druk Green Power Cooperation and University graduates. Involvement of different stakeholder in this project is expected to understand the role of freshwater biodiversity and impact impaired by human development activities besides earning experiences to carry out similar studies independently in other parts of the hydropower projects. The results of this project will be presented to institutions, schools, and colleges. Paper will also be made available online for larger audience. The very important outcome of this project will draw the attention of decision/policy makers to focus conservation efforts in the areas of future hydropower developments.
Read about Jigme's previous project http://www.rufford.org/projects/jigme_wangchuk or for more information contact: