Northern Water Services board operates seven (7) counties within three regions in Kenya

Table 1: Area of operation and counties under NWSB

North Eastern Region

Upper Eastern Region

Rift Valley Region

  1. Garissa County
  2. Mandera County
  3. Wajir County
  1. Isiolo County
  2. Marsabit County
  1. Laikipia County
  2. Samburu County


The geographical area of operational for Northern Water Services Board (NWSB) is approx. 253,636 KM2 which is about 43% of land coverage in Kenya. This area largely falls within arid and semi lands (ASAL) in Kenya. Annual precipitations vary from 300mm to 1000mm and temperature ranges from 22o to 39o centigrade.

The area of operation for the Board (largely falls within ASAL) is not endowed with many permanent surface water resources and ground water potential is largely very low. The area has three rivers, i.e. Tana River which is a permanent river.

The other two rivers are Daua in Mandera County (at the boundaries of Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia) and Ewaso Ng’iro North River; these two rivers experience low flows during the dry seasons.

While there are numerous river intake water facilities along these rivers, the common technology for water supply is through small dams, pans and boreholes. On average, therefore, access to safe and reliable water within the area of jurisdiction for Northern Water Services Board is one of the lowest in the country.