According to the United Nations, the world will face serious water shortages by the year 2030. Since Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia are expected to face the biggest effects, Kenyans ought to embrace water management.
The water crisis calls for water management experts; professionals that are in a unique position to make an incredible contribution to Kenya’s sustainable development.
Who is a water management expert?
A water management expert is responsible for tackling a variety of issues ranging from water scarcity to water degradation. Some of the sectors these professionals work in include:
1. Water resources management
A reduction of water resources and the dwindling global water quality has triggered the need for pros in this area. These experts are involved in the planning, development, and optimization of the use of water resources.
This type of resource management entails the collection of relevant data on the sources and uses of water resources. Some of the key areas of this sector include water conservation and water use efficiency.
While water conservation concentrates on restricting the use of water, water efficiency focuses on reducing its wastage. In a residential home setting, water efficiency practices could include fixing leaking taps and opting for showers instead of baths.
On the other hand, water conservation includes measures like using a low flow showerhead or taking quick showers. Ultimately, both these concepts provide ways to save water and as such are usually practiced simultaneously.
In order to ensure water conservation and efficiency in homes, companies, organizations, and industries, water audits need to be carried out. These audits involve the thorough assessment of the water use and water-related equipment of a facility.
Such an assessment allows specialists to come up with the Best Management Practices for a particular facility. More on water audits can be found on Facilitiesnet.com.
Here is a sample water audit template.
2. Water resources engineering
Engineers in this field are responsible for designing water management systems and equipment. They may choose to specialize in the designing water treatment plants or underground wells.Some even go as far as overseeing the construction of the systems they design.
3. Water supply engineering
Experts in this field deal with the supply, distribution, and treatment of water for human consumption. Their expertise comes in especially handy when it comes to wastewater management
4. Water resources law
We can’t talk about water management without at least mentioning the field of water resources law. This field provides experts that are adept in laws that govern the ownership, control, and use of water resources.
These laws usually regulate the use of surface water, surface runoff and groundwater. In the Kenyan constitution, the laws pertaining to water management are contained in the Water Act 2002.
All hydrologists have one thing in common; they have a passion for water conservation. As such, they use their expertise in water quality, movement and distribution to contribute to water management and environmental conservation.
6. Integrated catchment management
This sector involves the management of natural resources in a way that doesn’t separate water and land management but rather tackles them as a unit. Water resource specialists in this field analyze the water condition of a catchment area and try to improve it.
This kind of analysis involves trying to understand where the water in the catchment comes from, how it is used and how it is being polluted. Such information is integral to water management within the catchment.
7. Water quality monitoring
Experts in water quality monitoring provide us with the information we need to figure out how to improve our water management systems. Quality control of river water can give us insight into how human activities affect our water quality. As such, we can put in place the required measures to ensure the availability of high-quality water for human consumption and activities like irrigation.
The Bottom Line
It goes without saying that Kenya is ripe for great advancements in water management. As a third world country, it is at a point in its development where it can’t afford to be slacking in any of its sectors, especially one as important as water management.
- Difference between water conservation and efficiency
- Steps in conducting an energy audit – Facilities.net
- Smart smartness – KAM
- Building the water economy – KAM