Challenges and opportunities for sustainable water supply and demand management in Ruiru municipality
Njogu, Wanjiku Jacqueline
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The water resources upon which human life depends are under increasing stress and almost no country will be spared the negative consequences that are likely to be the result of this situation. Over the next 30 years, more than 60% of the world's population will face water related problems; that is, somewhere between four and seven billion people. Ruiru Municipality will not be an exemption. This study was designed to analyze the level of water supply vis-a-vis increasing demand in Ruiru Municipality. It also identified factors contributing to unaccounted-for water in the area. Further, it evaluated the existing Institutional Arrangements for water supply and demand management. In carrying out the study, questionnaires, interview schedules and guide and an observation recording sheets were used to collect the data. Data collected was collated, coded and analyzed. Data was analyzed descriptively using contingency tables that generated frequencies and percentages. The study established that there is acute water shortage in Ruiru Municipality as demand greatly surpasses water supply. This was attributed to many factors including poor infrastructural development, high water turbidity and pollution levels, lack of funds to invest in water supply facilities, low production capacity of the existing water treatments facilities and regular drought occurrence in the area. The study also found out that the level of unaccounted-for water in the Municipality averages 40%. This was caused by illegal water connections, pipe leakages and bursts and the dilapidated distribution system. It was also found out that the Ruiru and Juja Water and Sewerage Company is the one mandated with water service provision as outlined in the current Water Act. The study found several opportunities for sustainable water supply and demand management in Ruiru Municipality. A sustainable water supply and demand management plan was developed to outline the activities to be carried out in order to realize these opportunities. The study also came up with various recommendations including: proper policy formulations, implementation and enforcement of water resource management strategies, restrict and guide use of groundwater, full decentralization of government functions to the lowest levels possible, review water pricing policies, improve coverage of water supply, construction of a new water intake works, reduce the amount of unaccounted-for water and construction of a sewerage treatment facility.