Ensuring Sustainable Water Supply in Lagos, Nigeria
Physical Sciences and Mathematics
Water Resource Management
Lagos, the fastest growing city in Africa is currently facing a water management crisis. Due to poor planning, lack of adequate infrastructure, insufficient funds, and a poor governance and regulatory framework, there is a vast demand gap of 330 MGD. As such, only 10% of the population in Lagos is being served by the public water utility, Lagos Water Corporation. The rest of the population gain access to water either from private boreholes or from informal private sector participants such as water vendors. This situation is further worsened by certain factors such as rapid population growth, corruption, climate change, unreliable electricity, inadequate enforcement, and water leakages and theft that cause 60% unaccounted-for-water losses. As a result, citizens experience water shortages, water pollution, inadequate sanitation and wastewater treatment, and water injustice and inequality. There have been several governmental and external efforts to resolve the crisis, however they have all been fruitless due to poor implementation, inefficient enforcement, inadequate financing and lacking water governance. The Lagos Water Supply Master Plan aims to cover the demand gap by 2020 and improve water supply through extensive infrastructure development, however this plan is non-comprehensive and one-dimensional. Lagos needs a water supply plan that includes plans and strategies to address all the gaps and challenges that the Lagos water supply system faces. It is my goal to create a plan that would incorporate demand-side management, reduce waste and unaccounted water losses, ensure improved service delivery, restructure regulatory and governance frameworks, enhance reinvestment, and increase access to potable water. This professional report will delve into the water supply crisis facing Lagos State. I will explore the geographical and political conditions in the city; explain the causes and illustrate the factors that exacerbate the water supply issues; define the barriers to resolution; and explore the efforts made by the state to resolve the water supply crisis. I will assess the effectiveness of these efforts and by highlighting the gaps and challenges faced, I aim to illustrate the importance of effective planning and management to ensure a sustainable water supply system. I hope to provide planning and management strategies that could rectify the severe water supply issues that Lagos is facing and if implemented would ensure a sustainable water supply system in Lagos.