Water Demand and Participatory Watershed Management

DAAD Alumni Summer School "Water Demand and Participatory Watershed Management", Meru /Kenya

The objective of the Summer School was to underscore the sharing of water resources with collected data on the actual water demand, mainly by human consumption, agricultural activities such as irrigation and livestock keeping, as well as industrial use. Management options were formulated to regulate the existing demand given available resources. A further objective was to stimulate the Water resource User Oranizations (WRUA) to monitor their activities regularly.

Ngakinya WRUA has outlined the following objective, amongst others, in their constitution:

To promote reasonable, equitable and priority-based sharing of water resources between the environment, wildlife, livestock, commercial activities and all the communities who rely on the Rivers Ngaciuma and Kinyaritha and tributaries to always ensure the use of water resources ranks in priority from the highest to the lowest as follows: Domestic livestock, public environment, wildlife, fisheries; Irrigation, power generation, industry; and recreation.

Field Assessment

The Ngakinya WRUA and the BWARUA reported on their activities on implementation of the Sub-catchment Management Plan formulated during the Summer School 2007 and. 2006 respectively. Following the presentation, group work for one day has been carried out in the Ngaciuma-Kinyaritha catchment to get an insight on the performance of the WRUA within their area.  Each group consisted of members of WRUA, WRMA and Alumni representatives. A report writer, two or three interviewers, a photographer were chosen within each group and guided through specific areas within the catchment by a WRUA member. Results of the group work were presented at the plenary.

It was not the aim of the Summer School to roll out a full monitoring programme. Yet, the WRUA is encouraged to independently and regularly update their implementation plan, as they have followed the steps to carry out the monitoring and evaluation process during the Summer School of 2007. Assisting this process, the Summer School formulated recommendations for the WRUA.

Water Demand and Water Resource Allocation

Water demand assessment and water resource allocation concentrates on three areas, namely on the resources of water, the uses of water and the methodology on how to assess these. For assessment of resources, data for rainfall, runoff, groundwater and temperature or evapotranspiration are collected and analysed. Not all data are necessary to be collected from the field. Relevant administration units have a lot of regional data already collected and published.

Data from supply side, obtained from the water service provider MEWASS, is only available for a small part of the Ngaciuma-Kinyaritha catchment, because only part of the catchment is covered by the services of MEWASS. Therefore, statistical data on population are used to estimate an average demand. The domestic water use is divided into rural population, urban population and institutions such as schools and administrative offices.

The industrial sector in the Ngaciuma-Kinyaritha catchment is limited to the processing of agricultural products.

The agricultural sector uses water mainly for irrigation and livestock production. Water is supplied by abstractions from the rivers in the area. Rain fed irrigation is widely practised, yet is not taken into account for the water demand estimation in this study. This would require a water balance study, which would also have to include environmental water demand.

Collected information was processed and analysed. Spatial information was processed in GIS. Results are presented in form of tables, graphs and maps.

Conflict Mapping

The relevant actors were identified through participatory conflict mapping. Under the moderation of Nele Förch, Ngakinya WRUA in cooperation with BWARUA, Kawaya WRUA and NYAWRUA were invited to describe the kind of relationships they have in the catchment with other entities. The activity consisted of mapping the relationship between the relevant actors in the catchment for watershed management and Ngakinya WRUA. Members of WRUA and WRMA were given cards of different sizes standing for the significance of the relationship between different actors. The criteria used as a basis for mapping was mainly related to their relevance to the WRUA in implementing watershed management. After defining the actors the link between the WRUA and the respective actors was defined (e.g. strong or weak cooperation).


25 participants took part in the DAAD Alumni Summer School 2008. 15 DAAD Alumni were representing the member universities of the regional network on Integrated Watershed Management (IWMNet) Eastern Africa and functioned as resource persons and facilitators for their respective institutions and disciplines. 10 experts from the concerned local WRUA and the regional authority WRMA working in Meru Region were selected by the GTZ Water Sector Reform Programme to integrate the Sub-catchment Management Plan (SCMP) into the existing institutional and legal framework and to ensure implementation of the planned activities. 2 lecturers of Universität Siegen were participating as organisers and lecturers.


The elaboration and results of the summer schools can be downloaded here. They are handed over as document to the WRUA and WRMA being the implementing organisations.