Water resource management projects – check for standards, approvals, permits and licences
Consider all needed standards, approvals, permits and licences in the implementation plan
Required standards, approvals, permits and licences are official documents that give you the authorization or guidance to carry out your intended project. For each type of projects different laws, regulations and specifications or standards apply. These need to be identified early on and considered during the project implementation.
Purpose and link to IQC
Identifying the required standards, approvals, permits and licences, obtaining them and keeping record is compulsory. Breaches of such legal requirements may jeopardize the permission to implement a project or its acceptance by the government and donor. Compliance on the other hand can help to avoid conflicts with public authorities, sanctions and provides for quality of the service, ensuring safety and to meeting users expectations. In the case of infrastructure projects certain technical design standards are a pre-requisite to obtain permits and approvals for construction works (WHO 2008).
Implementing organizations should ideally be facilitators of processes, not service providers. However, they should take responsibility to make sure that all required standards, approvals, permits and licences are obtained, also because breaches can affect their own reputation.
1. Identify all required standards, approvals, permits and licences
Start out by checking which standards have been agreed in your contract with the project funder. For further information contact the local government for advice. Discuss with them which standards, approvals, permits and licences you need to comply with for your type of project. The following table provides examples of different types of standards, approvals, permits and licences that may be required for water resource management projects (e.g. sand dams, spring protection…). The overview is based in the requirements in Kenya, which may deviate in other countries.
Note that: the implementing organization usually only engages in a community for a limited period of time. It is therefore important that the actual owners of the project (e.g. the community) obtain the required authorizations. The implementing organization may facilitate the application process. It is important that both the project owner and the implementing organization have copies of all approvals, permits and licences.
|Examples from Kenya for standards, approvals, permits and licences required for water resources management projects|
|Basic documentation required|
|Minutes from your meeting with the community (see Info sheet “Exit strategy & creating project ownership”)|
|Evidence of land ownership or an agreement with the owner for the use of the land|
|Map showing the water body, the localization of the works, supply area, location of all authorizations or permits currently held by the applicant relevant to the project|
|For rehabilitation projects: authorization to use works owned by another person|
|Drinking water guidelines (e.g. from Kenya in Annex 1)|
|Water service regulations (e.g. from Kenya in Annex 2)|
|Water resources management regulations (e.g. from Kenya in Annex 3)|
|Approvals, permits and licences||Who needs to get it?||Issuing authority||Comments|
|Hydrogeological Survey Report||Implementing organization / Community committee||Consultant||To know soil type below ground level. By a registered hydrogeologist|
|Environmental Impact Assessment||Implementing organization / Community committee||Consultant / National Environment Management Authority||By a registered consultant / National Environment Management Authority license is issued|
|Dam Design Report||Water Resources Management Authority||Contractor||By a qualified contractor|
|Application to construct works||Water Resources Management Authority||Community committee||Form: WRMA001|
|Authorization to Construct Works||Implementing organization / Community committee||Water Resources Management Authority||Form: WRMA004|
|Dam Completion Report||Water Resources Management Authority||Contractor||By the qualified contractor|
|Dam Operation Report||Water Resources Management Authority||Contractor||By the qualified contractor|
|Completion Certificate||Water Resources Management Authority||Contractor||Form: WRMA008|
|Water Abstraction Permit||Implementing organization / Community committee||Water Resources Management Authority||Form: WRMA010|
|Variation to an original Water Permit||Community committee||Water Resources Management Authority||Rehabilitation projects. Form: WRMA012|
|Licence for Small Scale Water Service Provider||Community committee||Local Water Service Provider||By a “small scale service provision agreement”|
2. Take corrective measures where required to ensure your project planning complies with all required standards
Update the table in the template with the information about the new project planning.
3. Get the approvals, permits and licences that are still needed
Establish who needs to get each of the required documents and which authority needs to be contacted. Inform the responsible entity (CSO, Contractor or Community/School Committee) about its obligations and make sure each project stakeholder obtains the required standards, approvals, permits and licences.
4. Keep records
Both, the project owner and the implementing organization should keep records and copies of all the approvals, permits and licences of the project and be able to produce them if requested.
References & Further Readings
- Water Act 2002. Kenya.
- 2002. Model Water Services Regulations. Kenya
- Drinking water quality and effluent monitoring guideline
- 2006. The water resources management rules.