Water rationing in the city is expected to persist to 2026 due to prolonged drought and degradation of water catchment areas.
According to NWSC managing director Nahashon Muguna, the prolonged drought in the Aberdare ranges since 2014 and degradation of catchment areas has contributed to the rationing.
He was speaking on Thursday at City Hall when he appeared before the Water and Sanitation Committee.
“The problem is expected to persist until 2026 because water levels at Ndakaini have dropped to 39 per cent,” said Muguna
“Global warming as a result of erratic weather patterns, inadequate rains relied on to recharge the rivers and increase flow to rivers and dams is another contributing factor.
Muguna was optimistic that completion of the Northern Collector Tunnel project in Murang’a and two other major dams in Kiambu by then will be able to meet water demands.
The Sh6.8 billion project whose construction started last year is expected to increase water supply by 140,000 cubic metres per day once.
“The demand for water in the county grows by 20,000 cubic metres annually. We will surpass the demand once these dams are complete,” Muguna said.
He said that by 2026, there will be enough water and surplus to take residents up to 2035 hence no need for rationing.
The rationing programme was introduced in January last year when the water level at Ndakaini drastically fell to 48 per cent. It was supposed to end in June the same year after the long rains start.
Muguna said slums will be exempted from the acute water rationing to avoid an outbreak of sanitation and water-borne diseases due to the poor living conditions.
He said the CBD will also be exempted since it is the heart of county’s business operations but maintained available water will be distributed equitably.
Demand for water in the city is 503,000 cubic metres against the demand of 706,000 cubic metres.
Last year in November, the county government and the Ministry of Water said there are plans to drill 85 boreholes in all wards in for Sh340 million.
It is still not known when the drilling will begin.