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Kenya National Water Master Plan 2030 

Sept-Oct 2013 printThe last National Water Master Plan was developed in 1992 when the country’s population was 20 million people while the total water demand was around 1 billion cubic metres per year. Today the county’s population is over 40 million with a water demand of over 3 billion. The countries population will rise to 68 million people by 2030 with a water demand of 13 billion cubic metres. There is therefore need to develop a new National Water Master Plan as the 1992 National Water Master Plan has been overtaken by events.

A new National Water Master Plan 2030 that has been developed from 2010 to date is based on the Kenya Vision 2030 of 2007 that is the county’s new development blue print covering the period of 2008 to 2030. 

As Vision 2030 aims to transform Kenya into a newly industrialized, “middle income country providing a high quality of life to all its citizens by the year 2030” and recognizing water as enabler in socio-economic development, the timing of developing a new National Water Master Plan 2030 is right and timely.

Taking into consideration that the Vision 2030 is based on three pillars of development namely, economic, the social and the political with the social pillar in which water is domicile seeks to build a just and cohesive society with social equity in a clean and secure environment. The economic pillar aims to achieve an average GDP growth rate of 10% per annum beginning 2012. We must therefore take note that to day, 2013 the country’s growth rate is still at 5% hence need to ensure availability of water resources as an enable to achieve the 10% envisaged growth. The political pillar on the other hand aims to realize a democratic political system, and protects the rights and freedoms of every individual in Kenyan society. Under this political pillar, the right to water and sanitation is key and constitutional under the bill of rights of the COK 2010.

In this respect, the National Water Master Plan 2030 has developed plans that would ensure that: Kenya National Water Master Plan 2030 MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT, WATER AND NATURAL RESOURCES

i. Improved water and sanitation are available and accessible to all by 2030.
ii. In agriculture, to increase the area under irrigation to 1.2million hectares
iii. To be a nation that has a clean, secure and sustainable environment by 2030 and
iv. To generate more energy and increase efficiency in energy sector.

forrestThe National Water Master Plan 2030 has analysed the effect of climate change to the country’s water resources and concluded that, the country’s water resources shall be affected with climate change and therefore projected future climate change to the country’s water resources up to the year 2050 based on the 17 General Circulation Models (GCM). Simply put, according to the projection, the Kenya surface temperature will increase by around 1oC by 2030 and by 2o C by 2050 uniformly. The mean annual rainfall and actual evapotranspiration are expected to increase for 2030 and 2050 with annual rainfall increasing to 750 mm and 801 mm respectively from 670 mm of 2010 and evapotranspiration from 549 mm as of 2010 to 613 mm and 659 mm respectively. The country’s renewable water resources will increase from 2010 level of 42 billion cubic metres annually to 44 cubic metres by 2030 to 46 cubic metres by 2050 annually. Out of the renewable water resources surface water was estimated at 20 cubic metres by 2010 and 24.9 cubic metres by 2030 and groundwater at 21.55 cubic metres by 2010, 19.4 cubic metres by 2030 and 19.3 cubic metres by 2050.

This scenario has put the countries water per capita to just above 1000 cubic metres global benchmark. Water Demand: Based on the National Development in Kenya Vision 2030 spelt out above, and the socioeconomic frameworks, the water demand required for water resources development and management planning are estimated for the domestic, industrial, irrigation, hydropower livestock, wildlife and inland fisheries water use.

The total water demand shall increase from the 2010 level of 3.2 billion cubic metres annually to 12.5 billion by 2030 to 23.1 billion by 2050 cubic metres annually. 

The water balance: Based on the water resources available and projected water demand the country’s average water demand is 14% by 2010, 81% by 2030 and 81% by 2050 with more serious water situation in Athi River Basin
with 281% water demand that is 4.6 billion cubic metres annually against available water resources of 1.6 billion cubic metres. This is followed by Tana River Basin with 105% out of which water demand is 8.2 billion cubic metres against available water of 7.8 billion cubic metres. Both Lake Victoria North and South Basins remains safe with annual water demand of 228 million cubic metres and 385 million cubic metres respectively in 2010 to 1.34 billion cubic metres and 3.0 billion cubic metres by 2030 to 1.57 and 3.25 billion by 2050 respectively.

In target year 2030 water demand will increase in all catchment areas, and water balance is expected to be tight in all areas except in Lake Victoria North. As for the 2050 water balance the ratio between water resources available and demand is almost the same as that for 2030 due to increase in both water resources due to climate change and demand.

As a result of the findings of the National Water Master Plan 2030, areas with water deficits would require promotion of water resources development to the maximum in order to meet future water demand. Water demand management such as water savings and effective and efficient water use, recycling of water, etc should be introduced to control water demand increase. This will specially to control irrigation water demand that requires up to 80% of the available water.

The National Water Master Plan 2030 therefore aims to presentt a framework for water resources development and management consistent with the country’s social and economic development activities. The final National Water Master Plan 2030 report will be ready for circulation on 15th November, 2030. 

John Rao Nyaoro, HSC, BSc., LLM,
Ph.D. Candidate, Water Law and Policy
Director of Water Resources




Current Issue: Africa Water & Sanitation & Hygiene March-April 2017 Vol.12 No.2