The Water Dialogue

8th October 2013
VULNERABILITY AND OPPORTUNITIES

TAPPING GROUND WATER RESOURCES IN NORTHERN KENYA – K...
The Water Dialogue
Monthly Multi-Stakeholders Platform for Knowledge Exchange and Collaboration for
Integrated Water Resou...
The Water Dialogue
Monthly Multi-Stakeholders Platform for Knowledge Exchange and Collaboration for
Integrated Water Resou...
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The Water Dialogue I Report

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The Water Dialogue I Report

  1. 1. The Water Dialogue 8th October 2013 VULNERABILITY AND OPPORTUNITIES TAPPING GROUND WATER RESOURCES IN NORTHERN KENYA – KNOWLEDGE, Monthly Multi-Stakeholders Platform for Knowledge Exchange and Collaboration for Integrated Water Resources Management in Kenya Introduction and Context The Arid & Semi-Arid Lands cover 80% of Kenya´s landmass home to 40% of national population and approximately 52% of Kenya’s livestock. In addition 80% of economic-tourism interests in the country are found in the ASALs. These regions however suffer the highest incidence of poverty, huge losses during drought and lowest level of access to basic services in the country. To what extent can groundwater be harnessed to enhance services and sustainable livelihood? What are challenges, opportunities and state of knowledge to enable tapping ground water resources in the arid and semi-arid parts of Kenya? Key Presentation Peter Mayara (UNESCO) Panel Discussion -Jason Oyugi (Chair)  Eng. Joseph Kinyua- WRMA  DR. Amel Azab- NBCBN, Egypt  Dr. Aminesh Kumar – UNISDR- RoA  Eng. Peter Njaagah - WASREB Process UNESCO – JICA and Radar Technologies International conducted hydrogeological survey to assess the groundwater potential of North-central Turkana County, identify and assess maximum quantity of clean groundwater resources for populations, with particular focus on Lodwar, Lokichogio, and Kakuma and finally, to assess the potential of groundwater for development, with a focus on both shallow and deep structures. In a county that is better known for water scarcity problems, the issue of freshwater availability and recent new water discoveries generated much excitement and optimism. Presently, Turkana and generally North and Eastern Kenya population suffer from a shortage chronic of both clean water for drinking, and reliable water for livestock and agriculture. These shortages are as a result of natural conditions as well as underdevelopment The assessment was a high gamble because it started off without any prior indication of GW potential. Initial familiarization utilized data from very many NGOs working in this area and from the Water Resources Management Authority. Among the first challenges was getting drillers for an exploratory well since the experience of majority drillers is limited to productive boreholes and barely in development of exploratory boreholes. The other challenge encountered was in the lokitapi area where base flow of River Turkwell made it difficult to distinguish between the recharge from the river and precipitation. The study did not cover water quality.
  2. 2. The Water Dialogue Monthly Multi-Stakeholders Platform for Knowledge Exchange and Collaboration for Integrated Water Resources Management in Kenya Discussion of findings The assessment estimated huge ground water storage mostly in deep seated aquifer, but somewhat limited by recharge. Using WATEX technology, deep seated aquifers of Northern and Central Turkana were mapped and successfully confirmed by exploratory drilling. Aquifer Regime Estimated Recharge Estimated Storage Aquifer systems in the ASALs of Kenya are poorly mapped. While the cost of GW exploration is high nonetheless exploring new, potential aquifers must be done carefully and meticulously. Enhanced exploration of groundwater in arid and semi-arid areas is both important and urgent to collect reliable and useful water availability data and support management decisions. However, it is important to remember that transmission and distribution of water from source to points of use is perhaps more demanding task than source exploration. Shallow alluvial (0-100m) 2085 2085 Deep Aquifer (100-800m) 1365 248,250 Total 3447 250335 Integrated water resources management envisages equitable allocation, transparently divided between different sectors and besides the available storage it is critical to understand the recharge capacity. The location of high yielding aquifer when viewed together with recent oil discovery in the Turkana County bring to light need of ensuring that water benefits and threats are weighed with care, for example it was reported that for every 1 barrel of oil, 1.2 barrel of water is required and which won’t be available for any other usage. As it is evident from this survey; - One of the greatest obstacles to improve the water sector is the lack of reliable and useful date, and The lack of skilled personnel or the access to companies and agencies that have the right skills may and often limits implementation It important to embrace collaboration and learning from each other to resolve capacity issues and optimize use of resources. To improve knowledge sharing, the capacity building of the stakeholders must be enhanced to enable generation, archiving and dissemination of data and information. Establishing networks at all levels is useful way to strengthening knowledge exchange
  3. 3. The Water Dialogue Monthly Multi-Stakeholders Platform for Knowledge Exchange and Collaboration for Integrated Water Resources Management in Kenya CONCLUSION  The assessment of ground water in the Lake Turkana is a significant first step to map GW in the ASAL areas of Kenya. It set very good basis for future investigation, however it should not be seen final. In Ethiopia for example USGS advanced investigation upon similar work.  Sharing information and knowledge is the first step towards a sustainable water resource management. But beyond the sharing is need to explain how to use the information and to learn from each other. Professional and knowledge networking will help to close the gaps Key Messages between all levels from academia, to official authorities, to the private sector, and last but not least to the communities and end users. Only with - There is need for caution that water discovery does not create unnecessary emotion an enhanced dialogue a fair distribution of water - The potential for 200-500 shallow alluvial boreholes for all sectors (water provision, irrigation and in high-potential areas identified by this survey. energy production) is possible. - Abstraction should be based on recharge not  Government has an important duty provide framework regulations for research institution and private sectors contribution to a comprehensive understanding of water resources the full potential and vulnerabilities. The performance of this assessment demonstrates private sector do have an important role in actual implementation.  Creating awareness it is also important ad there is need to develop capacity media to cover water sector not only focusing on the problems and challenges but also on the solutions and projects that are already in place and potential  Lastly, one of the important messages of the discussion was that improving the water sector is a dynamic process, nobody has the absolute answers and therefore there is a need to constantly adapt to changing needs and more importantly, that all the discussions will end in actions. Full presentation available storage and WRMA should set abstraction limits for normal and emergency withdrawals - It recommended to undertake aquifer zoning and gazette adjacent land to protect the aquifers from harmful activities - Exploratory and mapping survey should gradually be expanded to cover the rest of North - East Kenya. In the Lotikapi, there is need for another 10-20 exploration boreholes - The skills/capacity of the drilling industry is inadequate for carrying out reliable and sound exploratory drilling. - Research is key tool of capacity building - Network a be good middle ground for interaction between government and productive sectors Further Policy and Research Questions - Is the use of BH for emergency water resources appropriate and wise decision? - Are there opportunities for enhancing ground water recharge in order to tap groundwater at shallower depth?

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