Foreword

Water is the most precious of the natural resources of Rwanda. Water sustains life, including human and ecosystem's health, and supports all sectors of the national economy.It is a unique substance with no known substitute. Its proper management, accordingly, is a high priority for the Government of Rwanda.

Water as a resource

Water is a finite resource, which is essential for sustaining life on earth and is indispensable to human survival and to the ecological functions of plants and animals. Water is also necessary for human and social-economic development as an input in industrial processing, energy generation, transport, agriculture and tourism, among other commercial activities.

However, water can also be harm to humans, plants and animals as well as to social and economic activities as a result of disasters arising from floods, drought and water borne diseases.Therefore, water is a resource that must be carefully harnessed, optimally utilized, controlled and managed appropriately in order to obtain maximum benefit from it while minimizing its potentially adverse effects.Water resources planning and management must therefore be designed not only to solve problems but also to take advantage of the prevailing opportunities.

As a resource, water ha relevance and significance for all sectors. It is therefore appropriately described as a cross cutting resource. accordingly, planning and decision making processes regarding water resources must be take account of, and give effect to, the implementation for all sectors, including the economic, the ecology, and socio- cultural values. This calls for Rwanda Water and Forestry Authority, department of Water Resources Management to which this policy will aspire to give effect.