National Center for Hydrology and Meteorology

Brief History for Institution development of Hydro-met in Bhutan

Chronology of organizational development of hydrology and meteorology services in Bhutan.



Prior 1990

Hydro-met data collection were done by respective line agencies based on their own need in a piecemeal basis through projects implemented by the respective agencies.

Department of Agriculture was responsible for collection of meteorological data for agriculture and other RNR uses;

Hydro-met Unit (Program funded by GoI) under the Department of Telecom was responsible from collection of river level and rainfall data for providing flood warning information to the Indian States of Assam and West Bengal.


Hydrology Unit and Meteorology Unit were established under the Department of Power (DoP), Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) to collect hydrological and meteorological data.a
Under the Bhutan Power System Master Plan (PSMP) study, hydrological and meteorological network were designed and established covering whole Bhutan;
Meteorology functions from Department of Agriculture was transferred to DoP, MTI along with instrument and manpower.


As a part of restructuring the energy sector and unbundling of the Department of Power (DOP), MTI the following agencies were created:

  1. Department of Energy, DoE (Policy and Coordination),
  2. Bhutan Power Corporation, BPC (transmission and distribution functions),
  3. Druk Green Power Corporation, DGPC, (generation functions) and
  4. Bhutan Electricity Authority, BEA (as regulator).

Therein the Hydro-met Services Division (HMSD) was one of the divisions created under the Department of Energy (DoE) with three sections, viz.: Hydrology, Meteorology and Flood Warning Section.


When Department of Telecom (DoT) was corporatized in 2002, the Hydro-met Unit with its observational network, functions and manpower were handed over the DoE.

Hydro-met Unit was renamed as the Flood Warning Section under the HMSD, DoE.


As per the decision of 67th Session of Lhyengye Zhungtsog (LZ) held on 30th March 2010 the Department of Energy (DoE) was restructured into three new departments, viz.: Department of Hydropower and Power Systems (DHPS), Department of Renewable Energy (DRE) and Department of Hydro-met Services (DHMS).
Department of Hydro-met Services (DHMS) operated with four functional divisions: Planning Coordination and Research Division (PCRD), Hydrology Division (HD), Meteorology Division (MD) and Snow and Glacier Division (SGD).


As per the recommendation of the Organization Development) Exercises (ODE)carried out by the Royal Civil Service Commission (RCSC), the Cabinet during its 92ndLhyengyeZhungtsog (LZ) Meeting held on 11th December 2015 approved the establishment of National Center for Hydrology and Meteorology (NCHM) from erstwhile Department of Hydro-met Services, MoEA. The Center was formally established in September, 2016 and was delinked from the Ministry of Economic Affairs in January 2017.
Some of the mandates and functions from other agency were also handed over to the Center to streamline and avoid duplication during the process of institutional reorganization.

  1. Glaciology Division was handed over from Department of Geology and Mines (DGM), MoEA to NCHM
  2. Agromet Services from Department of Agriculture (DoA), MoAF to the Center

Aviation Met Services from Department of Air Transport (DoAT), MoIC to the Center.