Questions from the Crowd: Does Rift Valley Roses impact water levels at Lake Naivasha?

Flamingos at a lake

In our Questions from the Crowd series, we address questions from crowdinvestors about our projects and business model in open blog articles. Got a question? Write to us here.

The following question is regarding the 75 kWp solar system project for Rift Valley Roses flower farm in Kenya, which is currently being financed on our website.

Flower farming around Lake Naivasha has been said to have a negative impact on the lake’s water levels and ecosystem. Can you tell me what Rift Valley Roses is doing to combat this?

Rift Valley Roses is situated around 10km from Lake Naivasha and 400 meters higher, on the shoulder of the Aberdare mountain range. Consequently, the farm does not use any water from the lake for production of its flowers.

Where does the farm gets its water from?

Rift Valley Roses has built four lagoons with a capacity of 83,000 m3, which store the rainwater and run-off from the greenhouses and storm drains. The farm plans to increase this storage to a capacity of 290,000 m3, which will also be entirely collected from rain and run-off water. This project is conjunction with neighbouring flower farm LiveWire and will be completed in 2021.

Rift Valley Roses' four lagoons with a capacity of 83,000 m3.

The farm also obtains groundwater from a metered borehole and takes measures to use its water as efficiently as possible. It is also accredited by the Kenya Flower Council, which works with flower farms to ensure sustainable land and water use.

Water levels at Lake Naivasha

Although Rift Valley Roses does not use any water from Lake Naivasha, we can also share some information regarding influencing factors and management initiatives.

The water levels in Lake Naivasha are largely governed by the inflow from underground streams fed from the Aberdare Mountains; consequently, they have risen considerably in the past 4 months due to high rainfall on the mountains. One of the main risks to long term water levels will be changing rainfall patterns on the Aberdares due to climate change. By moving to solar energy and cutting CO2 emissions, Rift Valley Roses is helping to fight against global warming.  

Staff at solar customer Rift Valley Roses.

To manage direct impact of human activity on the lake, the Kenya Flower Council (KFC) and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) undertook a project called the Integrated Water Resources Action Plan Programme (IWRAP) between 2013 and 2016, which measured water levels and use with the aim of creating a system of sustainable water resource management in the Naivasha Basin. The project was a success, creating a strong foundation for sustainable development in the area. Find out more here.