Prof. Austine Ochieng
ACADEMIC TEAM LEADER
Water quality monitoring is important for environmental protection, managing waterways and their catchments, identifying pollution events and community education. Monitoring entails making observations and measurements that are analysed and reported to provide information and knowledge about catchments and waterways. Water quality and waste water monitoring systems are fundamental tools in the management of fresh water resources. The monitoring systems provide essential information characterizing the physical, chemical and biological status of water resources, determining trends and changes over time, and identifying emerging water quality issues. Quality monitoring tools also provide the means to identify policies and measures to enhance water quality, reduce and control water pollution from specific sources, evaluate the effectiveness of pollution control/regulation policies and their implementation and, deal with water quality emergencies. A good water monitoring program takes into consideration the information needed and from where, why the monitoring is necessary, what is to be monitored, when the monitoring is to be done and how the monitoring is to be carried out.
The major gaps in water quality implementation at country level are lack of appropriate instruments, inadequate financial resources and more importantly lack of technical capacities. Consequently, water quality data are scarce, unreliable and unsystematic. The Centre for IWRM through research, training and advocacy, will assist the country in building human and technical capacities required to improve water quality monitoring and management. To this end the Centre will develop innovative and advanced water quality monitoring technologies and methods that will produce reliable, accurate, continuous and systematic data on the quality of water resources. Such data are needed for the design, planning and implementation of effective control of quality measures. The Centre will develop outreach programmes that will raise awareness to rural and urban communities on water quality management issues.
The centre for IWRM will further offer consultation and baseline survey services on: water and sedimentary quality sampling to investigate the scale, nature and sources of quality problems of private and public aquatic environments; catchment-scale and in-lake nutrients budget investigation and develop nutrients and water budgets for such bodies; routine work for companies and governments to provide information on and advise on ensuring the supply of safe drinking water. The Centre will have a consulting office that will create water quality data bases, offer desk-based services including analysis of long-term trends and reviews of water quality datasets and management options.