Davis & Shirtliff advocates for installation of rain water harvesting systems in buildings

The company is calling for a law requiring all new buildings to be fitted with systems that divert rainwater from gullies into storage tanks


NAIROBI, MAY 6, 2019 – Water and Energy solutions company Davis & Shirtliff is advising that all new buildings including houses, apartments, offices, schools and industrial sites to install rainwater harvesting systems to reduce consumption and help drive down utility bills.


The company is calling for the consideration of a law to require all new buildings to be fitted with systems that divert rainwater from gullies into storage tanks, treated and pumped for various use including household and industrial. This the company says will help avert a water shortages post-rainy seasons, reduce average household consumption leading to lower water bills.


‘’By 2030, Kenya’s population will be approximately 68 million and there’s already pressures being experienced with regards to access to safe water. Having rainwater harvesting systems as part of building and construction codes is a sustainable approach that Kenya could adopt,’’ said Davis & Shirtliff CEO David Gatende.


According to the Ministry of Environment, Water and Natural Resources, the last National Water Master Plan was developed in 1992 when the country’s population was 20 million people while the total water demand was around 1 billion cubic metres per year. By 2030, it is estimated Kenya will need approximately 13 billion cubic metres of water annually.


The push by the Water and Energy solutions company comes in the wake of the rains that are being experienced in different parts of the country accompanied by flash floods in some areas after a prolonged dry spell with Davis & Shirtliff emphasizing that it is the opportune time to harvest water and start the conversation on creating systems on a national level that will ensure sustainability in water harvesting.


Though the National Water Master Plan 2030 acknowledges that climate change is and will affect water resources and points out that areas with water deficits would require promotion of water resources development to the maximum in order to meet future water demand; it is not clear on guidelines to ensure these initiatives including water harvesting are taken up at all levels.


“People respond to legislation and it is the government’s responsibility to nudge people in the right direction. In 2012 the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) enacted regulations requiring that premises with hot water demand exceeding 100 litres per day install solar water heating systems to cater for at least 60 per cent of the demand. This forced a lot of people to think about it and a lot of installations were done as a result. If the government pushes for the adoption of water harvesting structures in the designs of buildings the reception should be the same,” Mr Gatende explained.


The Davis & Shirtliff CEO emphasized that the government can also consider partnering with the private sector to provide water harvesting technologies adding that changes in building plan approvals should be considered.