Vulnerability Assessment of Sustainable Drinking Water Supply and Development in a Changing Climate in Nakuru Town, Kenya

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Date
2019-12-24
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East African Journal of Environment and Natural Resources
Abstract
The close connection between the climate and the hydrological cycle makes climate change to have a significant impact on water resources with regard to variability, distribution and occurrence. Research wise, climate change has assumed increasing importance from the perspective of development compared to the water environment. In Kenya, key water-related issues facing the country are the effects of climate variability and the steady degradation of the nation’s water resources. Limited research has focused on alleviating the problem as the effects of the water crisis remain wider, deeper and more uncertain requiring immediate attention. Major indicators of existing problems are manifested in lack of information and knowledge on climate-induced changes under natural variability conditions in drinking water regimes, quality, quantity, human health and likely future changes. The study uses a scientific approach based on hydrological analysis focusing on the link between changing climate conditions and drinking water quality and supply issues in Nakuru Municipality. Primary data collection employed measurement and analysis of selected inorganic drinking water quality variables with significant risk to health in the area’s local natural conditions. To explore short and long-term trends of climatic change indicators and their effect on the area’s hydrology, statistical trend analysis of rainfall for a period of 45 years was used. Temperature data used covered a period of 36 years. Water samples were taken to represent important water source points for public supply for ten months (June 2014 to March 2015) and analysed in accordance with standard methods. Data were analysed by trend analysis, descriptive and correlation techniques. Strong, weak and negative trends were observed between water quality variables and rainfall variability. Results show that temporal and spatial variability of rainfall patterns and temperature in the area of study affect surface and groundwater recharge processes, water table, quality, quantity and supply issues. According to the study, the effects of drinking water crisis linked to climate variability and change in terms of prediction methods, frequency, and rate of change, quality and quantity are wider, deeper and more uncertain requiring immediate attention. The existing challenges limit sustainable development, effective long-term planning and management of the areas drinking water resources. The results can be valuable in characterizing and addressing the study area’s water quality conditions and trends.
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Keli, M., Munyao, T., Kipkorir, E., & Shakala, E. (2019). Vulnerability Assessment of Sustainable Drinking Water Supply and Development in a Changing Climate in Nakuru Town, Kenya. East African Journal of Environment and Natural Resources, 1(2), 9-18. Retrieved from https://journals.eanso.org/index.php/eajenr/article/view/78
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