Mitigating the water footprint of export cut flowers from the Lake Naivasha Basin, Kenya

Mesfin Mekonnen, Arjen Ysbert Hoekstra

Research output: Book/ReportReport

Abstract

Kenya’s cut-flower industry has been praised as an economic success as it contributed an annual average of US$ 141 million foreign exchange (7% of Kenyan export value) over the period 1996-2005 and about US$ 352 million in 2005 alone. The industry also provides employment, income and infrastructure such as schools and hospitals for a large population around Lake Naivasha. On the other hand, the commercial farms have been blamed for causing a drop in the lake level and for putting the lake’s biodiversity at risk. The objective of this study is to quantify the water footprint within the Lake Naivasha Basin related to cut flowers and assess the potential for mitigating this footprint by involving cut-flower traders, retailers and consumers overseas. The water footprint of one rose flower is estimated to be 7-13 litres. The total virtual water export related to export of cut flowers from the Lake Naivasha Basin was 16 Mm3/yr during the period 1996-2005 (22% green water; 45% blue water; 33% grey water). Our findings show that, although the commercial farms around the lake have contributed to the decline in the lake level through water abstractions, both the commercial farms and the smallholder farms in the upper catchment are responsible for the lake pollution due to nutrient load. The observed decline in the lake level and deterioration of the lake’s biodiversity calls for sustainable management of the basin through pricing water at its full cost and other regulatory measures.
LanguageUndefined
Place of PublicationDelft, the Netherlands
PublisherUnesco-IHE Institute for Water Education
Number of pages54
StatePublished - 2010

Publication series

NameValue of water research report 45
PublisherUNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education
No.45

Keywords

  • IR-76915
  • METIS-267209

Cite this

Mekonnen, M., & Hoekstra, A. Y. (2010). Mitigating the water footprint of export cut flowers from the Lake Naivasha Basin, Kenya. (Value of water research report 45; No. 45). Delft, the Netherlands: Unesco-IHE Institute for Water Education.
Mekonnen, Mesfin ; Hoekstra, Arjen Ysbert. / Mitigating the water footprint of export cut flowers from the Lake Naivasha Basin, Kenya. Delft, the Netherlands : Unesco-IHE Institute for Water Education, 2010. 54 p. (Value of water research report 45; 45).
@book{2faed9c395564c5a97811f3908047d55,
title = "Mitigating the water footprint of export cut flowers from the Lake Naivasha Basin, Kenya",
abstract = "Kenya’s cut-flower industry has been praised as an economic success as it contributed an annual average of US$ 141 million foreign exchange (7{\%} of Kenyan export value) over the period 1996-2005 and about US$ 352 million in 2005 alone. The industry also provides employment, income and infrastructure such as schools and hospitals for a large population around Lake Naivasha. On the other hand, the commercial farms have been blamed for causing a drop in the lake level and for putting the lake’s biodiversity at risk. The objective of this study is to quantify the water footprint within the Lake Naivasha Basin related to cut flowers and assess the potential for mitigating this footprint by involving cut-flower traders, retailers and consumers overseas. The water footprint of one rose flower is estimated to be 7-13 litres. The total virtual water export related to export of cut flowers from the Lake Naivasha Basin was 16 Mm3/yr during the period 1996-2005 (22{\%} green water; 45{\%} blue water; 33{\%} grey water). Our findings show that, although the commercial farms around the lake have contributed to the decline in the lake level through water abstractions, both the commercial farms and the smallholder farms in the upper catchment are responsible for the lake pollution due to nutrient load. The observed decline in the lake level and deterioration of the lake’s biodiversity calls for sustainable management of the basin through pricing water at its full cost and other regulatory measures.",
keywords = "IR-76915, METIS-267209",
author = "Mesfin Mekonnen and Hoekstra, {Arjen Ysbert}",
year = "2010",
language = "Undefined",
series = "Value of water research report 45",
publisher = "Unesco-IHE Institute for Water Education",
number = "45",

}

Mekonnen, M & Hoekstra, AY 2010, Mitigating the water footprint of export cut flowers from the Lake Naivasha Basin, Kenya. Value of water research report 45, no. 45, Unesco-IHE Institute for Water Education, Delft, the Netherlands.

Mitigating the water footprint of export cut flowers from the Lake Naivasha Basin, Kenya. / Mekonnen, Mesfin; Hoekstra, Arjen Ysbert.

Delft, the Netherlands : Unesco-IHE Institute for Water Education, 2010. 54 p. (Value of water research report 45; No. 45).

Research output: Book/ReportReport

TY - BOOK

T1 - Mitigating the water footprint of export cut flowers from the Lake Naivasha Basin, Kenya

AU - Mekonnen,Mesfin

AU - Hoekstra,Arjen Ysbert

PY - 2010

Y1 - 2010

N2 - Kenya’s cut-flower industry has been praised as an economic success as it contributed an annual average of US$ 141 million foreign exchange (7% of Kenyan export value) over the period 1996-2005 and about US$ 352 million in 2005 alone. The industry also provides employment, income and infrastructure such as schools and hospitals for a large population around Lake Naivasha. On the other hand, the commercial farms have been blamed for causing a drop in the lake level and for putting the lake’s biodiversity at risk. The objective of this study is to quantify the water footprint within the Lake Naivasha Basin related to cut flowers and assess the potential for mitigating this footprint by involving cut-flower traders, retailers and consumers overseas. The water footprint of one rose flower is estimated to be 7-13 litres. The total virtual water export related to export of cut flowers from the Lake Naivasha Basin was 16 Mm3/yr during the period 1996-2005 (22% green water; 45% blue water; 33% grey water). Our findings show that, although the commercial farms around the lake have contributed to the decline in the lake level through water abstractions, both the commercial farms and the smallholder farms in the upper catchment are responsible for the lake pollution due to nutrient load. The observed decline in the lake level and deterioration of the lake’s biodiversity calls for sustainable management of the basin through pricing water at its full cost and other regulatory measures.

AB - Kenya’s cut-flower industry has been praised as an economic success as it contributed an annual average of US$ 141 million foreign exchange (7% of Kenyan export value) over the period 1996-2005 and about US$ 352 million in 2005 alone. The industry also provides employment, income and infrastructure such as schools and hospitals for a large population around Lake Naivasha. On the other hand, the commercial farms have been blamed for causing a drop in the lake level and for putting the lake’s biodiversity at risk. The objective of this study is to quantify the water footprint within the Lake Naivasha Basin related to cut flowers and assess the potential for mitigating this footprint by involving cut-flower traders, retailers and consumers overseas. The water footprint of one rose flower is estimated to be 7-13 litres. The total virtual water export related to export of cut flowers from the Lake Naivasha Basin was 16 Mm3/yr during the period 1996-2005 (22% green water; 45% blue water; 33% grey water). Our findings show that, although the commercial farms around the lake have contributed to the decline in the lake level through water abstractions, both the commercial farms and the smallholder farms in the upper catchment are responsible for the lake pollution due to nutrient load. The observed decline in the lake level and deterioration of the lake’s biodiversity calls for sustainable management of the basin through pricing water at its full cost and other regulatory measures.

KW - IR-76915

KW - METIS-267209

M3 - Report

T3 - Value of water research report 45

BT - Mitigating the water footprint of export cut flowers from the Lake Naivasha Basin, Kenya

PB - Unesco-IHE Institute for Water Education

CY - Delft, the Netherlands

ER -

Mekonnen M, Hoekstra AY. Mitigating the water footprint of export cut flowers from the Lake Naivasha Basin, Kenya. Delft, the Netherlands: Unesco-IHE Institute for Water Education, 2010. 54 p. (Value of water research report 45; 45).