Water Use Regulations

The first Regulations developed and adopted by Parliament is the Water Use Regulations Legislative Instrument (L.I.) 1692 (2001)

Regulated Water Uses:
It sets out regulations for the issuance of water use permits or grant of water rights for various water uses including:

  • Domestic,
  • Commercial,
  • Industrial,
  • Agricultural,
  • Power generation,
  • Fisheries (aquaculture),
  • Recreational, and
  • Under water (wood) harvesting.


The provisions of LI 1692 include:

  1. The various water uses that should be permitted
  2. Application procedure
  3. Public Hearing
  4. Priority of water use in cases of conflict between and among uses.
  5. Objections on the Commission’s decisions and resolution.
  6. Exemptions in terms of mode of abstraction and given thresholds.
  7. Registration of water uses that do not need permits and the role of District Assemblies.
  8. Grant of Permit (reasons for the grant or otherwise of a permit)
  9. Appeals  (procedure to lodge complaint for refusal of permit)
  10. Cessation of permit (actions to be taken by WRC)
  11. Non-Transferability of permits
  12. Payment of water charges to facilitate informed management of the water resources.
  13. Inspectorate for monitoring of water use activities

Administration of Water Use Regulations:

The WRC has been administering the Water Use Regulations over the period by issuing permits to major water users. 

WRC in fulfilment of the provisions of section 11(5) of the Water Use Regulations 1692 of 2001, published the third Water Use Register at the end of 2010. There were a total of 171 registered water users in 2010 as against one hundred and fifty-four (154) as at 2009. 63% of the total registered users are engaged in domestic and/or municipal water supply, mining takes about 15%, while industry takes about 6%. 

Licensed Water Users (2010)
Water Users 2009 2010
Power Generation 2 2
Recreation/Navigation 1 1
Domestic 103 107
Mining 24 31
Industrial 10 11
Irrigation 9 10
Aquaculture 5 9
Total 154 171