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Water Rights & Law in Kenya
Constitution of Kenya
The advent of devolved governance in Kenya established two levels of government which have distinct responsibilities as enshrined in the Constitution.
  • Constitution of Kenya, 2010
  • County Governments Act, 2012
  • Water Act No. 43 of 2016
  • Climate Change Act, 2016
  • Trans-boundary Water Policy
  • Forest Conservation and Management Act, 2016
  • National Water Policy, 2020
Protection of Sources of Water
The Environmental Management and Coordination, (Water Quality) Regulations 2006 acknowledge the need to protect water sources in Kenya and includes, among others, the following regulations:
  • No person shall throw or cause to flow into or near a water resource any liquid, solid or gaseous substance or deposit any such substance in or near it, as to cause pollution
  • No person shall discharge, any effluent from sewage treatment works, industry or other point sources into the aquatic environment without a valid effluent discharge license 
  • No person shall abstract ground water or carry out any activity near any lakes, rivers, streams, springs and wells that is likely to have any adverse impact on the quantity and quality of the water, without an Environmental Impact Assessment license
  • No person shall cultivate or undertake any development activity within a minimum of six meters and a maximum of thirty meters from the highest ever recorded flood level, on either side of a river or stream,
Quality Standards for Sources of Domestic & Irrigation Water in Kenya
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