The water Law no49/2018 of 13/08/2018 Determining the Use and Management of Water Resources in Rwanda, stipulates that "the use of water resources in different activities and installations susceptible to modify the flow or the the level of water or to degrade their quality, or to threaten water related ecosystem, wetlands and the environment are subjected to water use permit".
Rwanda Water Resources Board (RWB) is mandated to ensure the availability of enough and well managed water resources for sustainable development and to reduce soil erosion and the impact caused by flooding and landslide risks. To realize its mandate, RWB through a broad-based consultative process, designed a Strategic Plan (2021-2030) which is arranged in 5 strategic objectives, 11 strategic outcomes and 129 strategic actions.
Soil erosion is the most serious environmental problem in many catchments areas in Rwanda. The main factors affecting the amount of soil eroded include land use and vegetation cover, topography, soil and climate. In order to identify area of potential soil erosion risks and to develop adequate erosion prevention measures for Rwanda, a National erosion risk map was generated and validated in July 2018 based on a methodology known as “Catchment Restoration Opportunity Mapping (CROM)”
According to World Water Development Report 2020, there was an increase in global water use by a factor of six over the last 100 years and this continues to grow steadily at a rate of about 1% per year. The growth in water use is the result of increasing population, economic development, and shifting consumption patterns.
In this past years Rwanda has suffered of severe water shortages in different catchments, even though large amounts of water continue to annually flood out to sea from the country. The problem is that the sporadic, spatial and temporal distribution of precipitation rarely coincides with demand. Whether the demand is for natural processes or human needs, the only way water supply can match demand is through storage. The main water storage system being applied in Rwanda is the construction of dam which is defined as a barrier built across a watercourse for impounding water.
This report presents the activities done as the Surface Water monitoring in a Campaign of November 2020. It provides the outcomes of the hydrological measurements done during the campaign and recommendations for further improvements.
Erosion risk map of Rwanda has been developed in June 2018 using the Catchment Restoration Opportunity Mapping (CROM) Spatial Decision Support tool. CROM model was developed based the Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE model) originally introduced by Wischimeier and Smith in 1978. The USLE model counts five input parameters derivable from Rainfall (R), Soils (K), Topography/ Relief (LS), Land cover and crop management (C), and conservation practices (P), each having a multiplier effect as follow: A=R×K×LS×C×P
Catchment planning is a form of spatial planning (integrated planning of land, water, and related resources) and is based on the principles of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM). The IWRM planning cycle combines the cyclical process of Catchment Plan (CP) development with a continuous learning process. Awareness of IWRM principles, knowledge about the catchment, and capacities to manage the catchment sustainably increase during each revolution of the IWRM planning cycle. In Rwanda, Catchment Plan development is integrated with the process of Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA).
Water monitoring is done with the purpose of gathering hydrological data that show the status of our water bodies around the country, during surface water monitoring data collected are: water levels, flow rates, and sediments quantity monitoring which started this year 2019. These data are collected with the help of manual (staff gauges), automatic (divers) and telemetry stations (real-time stations i.e. those which send data as they collect them in the server room). Collecting these data is done for the purpose of quantifying the changes of the natural surface water systems hence, providing the overall status of national water bodies to stakeholders and decision-makers thus, they are helped by that information in planning for water resources.
Within the framework of meeting one of its mandates related to water quality monitoring, the Rwanda Water and Forestry Authority (RWFA) has commissioned a study aiming at establishing water quality baseline of some selected 36 water bodies in Rwanda. The study was conducted at the nine catchment level one. A set of sixteen (16) parameters were selected for this monitoring activity for each sampling site. These are: Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD), Dissolved Oxygen (DO), Potential in Hydrogen (pH), Electrical Conductivity (EC), Total Dissolved Solids (TDS), Total Suspended Solids (TSS), Turbidity, Chloride (Cl-), Sulfate (SO42-), Nitrate (NO3-), Total nitrogen (TN), Total Phosphorus (TP), Total Dissolved Inorganic Nitrogen (DIN), Total Dissolved Inorganic Phosphorous (DIP), Faecal coliform (F.C) and Escherishia coli (E.coli).