Kenya banks on new technology to solve water shortage problem

12 January 2017

The water shortage problem currently facing residents of Nairobi could have found a solution with the adoption of a new modern technique that uses weather prediction in order to fine tune and supply water.

According to Mr. Mwangi the managing director of Kenya Meteorological Department, there are two types of drought experienced in Kenya currently; hydrological and agricultural. This is in reference to the water shortage that warranted a rationing program by the Nairobi Sewerage and Water Company as of 1st January 2017.

This was due to the drop in water levels of the major water reservoir; Ndakaini dam. With the rationing expected to last up to four months when the long rains are expected, this technique though might take a while to be fully in force, will be an effective method.

Reports from Lake Mendocino in California imply that data is gotten from monitoring a watershed, modern weather and water forecasting that is meant to help in retaining and releasing of water from and to reservoirs such that it is a reflection of the current forecasted conditions. The KMD can collaborate with the NSWC to curb the water problems.

The water management tool that is Forecast Informed Reservoir Operations (FIRO) is a cheap yet very effective method that not only keeps reservoirs full but also offers protection against flooding. The releasing of water into reservoirs puts into consideration weather predictions and observations of the watershed conditions at present in order to re-establish a space for flood control.

This news comes as a relief for residents in Nairobi given that the water crisis has been weighing them down with water vendors hiking prices for water to desperate residents. With the adoption of this new technique, the country may be able to conserve water and prevent future water shortages.

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