Water resource management is the processes of planning, designing, developing, distributing and controlling water resources for optimum utilization and sustainability. Rural Focus supports its clients to achieve sustainable and efficient utilization of the water resources with full compliance with local regulations and international laws that govern resource utilization. Water resource management seeks to create a balance on water use among various stakeholders and among various uses in line with environmental conservation and sustainability. RFL provides various services to allow for integrated water resource management including:
Rural Focus has been heavily involved in the water sector reforms in Kenya, through the provision of short and long-term technical assistance covering a variety of institutional, legal, technical and economic aspects. Examples include, for example, the development of the WRM Rules 2006, Codes of Practice for Groundwater Development and Dams, Catchment Management Strategies, and Water Resource Information Management Information Systems (WRMIS).
Catchment management involves the best use of mechanical, vegetative and infrastructure options available at the household, micro-catchment or basin level which in combination with social and economic factors can be mobilized to improve catchment conditions for improved production and better water management.
Rural Focus has detailed experience in the formation and establishment of Water Resources Users Association (WRUAs) to enable stakeholder involvement in the governance of shared water resources, including the development and implementation of sub-catchment management plans (SCMP). RFL has also supported the establishment of the framework for technical and financial assistance to WRUAs through the Water Services Trust Fund (WSTF).
Water allocation plans are legally binding documents that set working rules for managing the usage of water resources by ensuring fair, secure and sustainable water supplies to the industries, communities and the environment for future generations. Rural Focus has pioneered the establishment of various Water Allocation Plans for multiple clients ranging from the central government to local governments (and municipalities) to community projects and individual water users. This employs multi-stakeholders collaboration and expertise pooling.
Rural Focus has experience in the design and implementation of flood mitigation and flood management approaches and infrastructure, using complex analytical programs like HEC-RAS River modeling where appropriate.
Rural Focus has championed the use of self-regulating weirs for transparent compliance to authorized water allocations and to minimise water use conflicts.
RFL has helped to determine and translate regional climate modeling results and the expected hydrological impacts for stakeholders to complement efforts on climate change adaptation for water resource management.
RFL has been involved in significant capacity building projects to enable communities and governments manage water resources. In Community based water supply management, RFL provides necessary expertise to allow communities to foster ownership of water resource management and train them on best practices to perform such duties. RFL creates training materials and tutor-led seminars to sensitize communities on the relevance of proper management of water resources, especially in ASALS.
For institutions, RFL has designed and implemented capacity building programs specific to different institutions e.g. providing a “Blue Print” for the establishment of WRMA (Water Resources Management Authority) currently called WRA (Water Resource Authority).
Rural Focus is familiar with the PHAST and other participatory approaches in hygiene and sanitation training at the community level. Rural Focus has undertaken training in hygiene and sanitation as a compliment to water supply management training. RFL has key expertise and has effectively been used in the design of blueprints for proper sanitation in public schools and other government institutions.