3-day workshop, December 2019, Nairobi, Kenya

FutureDAMS is co-developing a state-of-the-art online integrated assessment modelling toolset for assessing and optimising water-energy-food-environment system designs. Anthony Hurford travelled to Nairobi to deliver a workshop designed to understand how the FutureDAMS toolset, particularly the modelling and visualisation interface, can support the Water Resources Authority (WRA). Watch the video below to see what the simulation looks like and to understand the FutureDAMS approach.

The WRA is mandated to regulate the use of water resources in Kenya, to collect payments for the licences required to take water, and to keep a register of the licensed abstractions. They also have to assess applications for new abstraction licences and to do this they need to know how much water is available. Currently, the WRA lack data and the means to use it.

The Tana River Basin Image by Peter in s CC BY-SA 2.0

Water availability depends on a number of factors, including climate, land use and existing abstractions. In large river basins like the Tana, which covers around 100km2, such factors can be diverse. Modelling water resources in the region is problematic because river flow records are intermittent and from a limited number of locations. Jomo Kenyatta University of Agricultural Technology in Nairobi was able to make use of the available data and carry out hydrological modelling using widely-used tools. This demonstrated best practice in using the limited data available to provide a consistent timeseries of river flow data across the basin, in other words, you could assess the river’s flow through the basin over time.

During the workshop WRA staff shared their needs and were shown how some of their problems can be solved using the FutureDAMS interface. For example, the interface can be used for doing water balance analysis (the flow in and out of a system) for a particular sub-basin. Anthony presented the geographical user interface which can help users to understand where existing abstraction is taking place; they were pleased to be able to view the license information from their database displayed on a map. The participants also discussed the potential for the online tool to improve the efficiency of the abstraction license application process. The current process requires a duplication of analysis for verification but if the online tool was shared with consultants then there would be no need for the analysis to be conduced twice.

FutureDAMS is providing WRA with YouTube tutorial videos to support their day-to-day use of the interface and WRA are providing their feedback via video conferencing for the continued development of the interface.

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