This paper elucidates the interactions between different formal and informal institutions in water governance through a case study of water distribution in Turkana County. Like other counties in Kenya, the governance of water in Turkana is currently taking place amidst a process of political devolution, changing policies and laws, and complex socio-cultural changes brought about by changing the environment. This contributes to re-shaping patterns of governance over water resources in new and somewhat unpredictable ways. Further, the different governance systems often result in overlapping authorities. These overlapping authorities often result in results in
tensions between the involved institutions. At some point, there are usually conflicts of interest over governance issues, authority, strategic planning and management of programs, projects or activities. Such administrative wrangles cause enormous problems and delays in service delivery; hence citizens suffering water insecurity. The study assesses the roles of both formal and informal institutions in addressing water insecurity and how much these institutions are involved in policy processes, decision-making and implementation of strategies and programs. The results from this study indicate that institutional conflicts result from poor strategic planning, failure to align national and County policies, delayed adoption of devolution principals and political interests which have significantly compromised water service delivery thus water security in Turkana. Such factors have resulted in institutional overlaps, financial challenges, insufficient management capacity within institutions, policy and operational gaps, human resource capacity, poor evaluation and monitoring gaps.