Assessing water supply and demand management in industries and commercial enterprises in Athi river town, Machakos County
Water is an integral part of many industrial processes and increasing demand for water for industrial uses will result from increasing economic activity. The water resources upon which industrial growth depends are under increasing stress and almost no economy will be spared the negative consequences of unsustainable use of this scarce resource. This study was designed to assess how industries and commercial enterprises in Athi River Town are managing water as a resource. It reviewed the existing policy, legal and institutional framework for water supply and demand management. It also assessed the current water supply and demand situation in industries and commercial enterprises. Further, it examined the current water demand management strategies applied by industries and commercial enterprises to use water efficiently. In carrying out the study, questionnaires and interview schedules were used to collect the data. Data was then analyzed descriptively using SPSS software and the results presented using measures of central tendency. The study found out that the legal, policy and institutional framework governing industrial water supply and demand management is not so effective and therefore needing sectoral review. Some of the problems within the institutional framework include lack of effective collaboration and public private partnerships towards sustainable water management. The study also found out that piped water is the main source of water for industrial and commercial enterprises at 83% followed by borehole at 60%. The application of water demand management was at 80%, this is an indicator of the importance the business community gives to the management of water as a resource. However the study also established that the application of complex and effective water demand management strategies is low. The most applied water demand management strategy was metering and sub-metering at 79% whereas the least applied was use of reclaimed water at 21%.This was attributed to factors such as lack of support, information and technology. The study came up with various recommendations including: proper policy formulations and implementation of water demand strategies, implementing water reuse practices, providing incentives for recycling and reclaiming water and providing preferential water tariffs for key industries.