KWTA has specific core functions. Its main function is to co-ordinate and oversees the protection, rehabilitation, conservation,and sustainable management of water towers.
The Agency also co-ordinates and oversees the recovery and restoration of forest lands, wetlands and biodiversity hotspots. It has the responsibility of promoting the implementation of livelihood programs in the water towers in accordance with natural resource conservation laws.
The Agency is also enters into sustainable agreements with stakeholders and other development partners, in consultation with relevant institutions to restore, manage and undertake research in any forest in line with international conventions, on terms and conditions approved by the government. KTWA mobilizes resources from the Government, development partners and other stakeholders as In consultation with the relevant stakeholders, KWTA identifies water towers and watersheds for protection, assess and monitor rehabilitation, conservation and management activities in the water towers; and performs such other functions as the Minister may from time to time.
Kenya Water Towers Agency was established upon recommendations of the Interim coordinating secretariat of the Mau which was gazzetted in April 2009 to rehabilitate and reclaim the Mau forests. The Agency was established vide Kenya gazette of 20th April 2012, legal notice no. 17 in order for the government to coordinate and oversee the protection, rehabilitation, conservation and sustainably manage all the critical water towers. The water, eighteen in , are gazzeted and they include Aberdares Range, Cherangani Hills, Chulyu Hills, Huri Hills, Kirisia Hills, Loita Hills, Marmanet Forest, Mathews Range, Mau Forest Complex, Mount Elgon, Mount Kenya , Mount Kipipiri, Mount Kulal, Mount Marsabit, Mount Njiru, Ndotos, Nyambene Hills, and Shimba Hills.