Ghana has enough water resources; investment is the problem – Water Resources C’ssion
The Director of Planning at the Water Resources Commission, Dr Bob Alfa, has disclosed that the city of Accra has enough water resources to ensure water supply all year round.
The Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL), in a statement issued in January 2023, announced the commencement of water rationing in some parts of the country, especially the Greater Accra, Ashanti, Central, Western and the regions up north, as a result of the depletion of raw water from various water bodies due to the dry season.
Speaking on the 'First Page' segment of the Class Morning Show with Korku Lumor on Monday, 30 January 2023, Dr Alfa indicated that although there exist enough water resources to supply to all parts of Accra, there is a lack of capacity on the part of GWCL to treat this resource and distribute it to meet the required demand due to the lack of available capital for investment.
“You can have enough water resources even in good quality, but you have to take the water from one source into the houses of people, and that requires some level of investment. Accra gets its water supply from two sources - first from Weija and then also from Kpong", he explained.
“If you look at water resource availability in the Akosombo Dam, we have enough water supply. However, there's a capacity that has been installed to move water from Kpong to Accra. If that capacity is exceeded, definitely they will have to do supply management.
“The major issue for the supply has to do with the capacity. Demand is going up and the capacity is still the same, and so definitely, there will be a shortfall,” he explained.
According to Dr Alfa, the biggest challenge towards harnessing Ghanaʼs water resources is not the issue of climate change, but a lack of purposive investment in the sector.
“In the dry season, we don't have rainfall, we have high temperature, high evapotranspiration and a lot of loss of water resources. We can actually mitigate that by developing the water resources more. But we need some levels of investment.
“The challenge is not just about the impact of climate change. Despite all of these weather challenges, Ghana is still endowed with water resources. Annually, we have 54 billion cubic metres of surface water in this country. The challenge is how to distribute it evenly among the population in this country, and that requires heavy investment,” he noted.
He further gave an indication of efforts underway to deal with the issue of Accra’s perennial water demand management issues.
“I know, I'm well aware that they've (GWCL) tried to expand the Kpong water supply system. They're also trying to set up the Aveyime water supply system that will supply water to Tema, and that will also now release the pressure from Tema to supply water to Accra. The Weija is also under some rehabilitation.”
“We believe that once these projects are completed, the system will be able to cope with the demand for the next 20 years,” Dr Alfa added.
For his part, the Public Relations Officer of the GWCL, Mr Stanley Martey, bemoaned the capital limitations faced by the company in solving the problem and, therefore, called on the public to help conserve water during these periods.
“There are a number of projects in the pipeline that need to be done, but these projects are capital intensive. On our own as GWCL, we do not have the capacity to go for commercial loans to build a treatment plant. It's the government that has to guarantee, so we do that. Unfortunately, it's not as we expect.
“In Accra, the demand far outstrips supply. We have put in place some measures to ensure the impact will not be felt. We also expect that customers will do their part to ensure that the situation does not become dire.”
“If you're not using the tap, don't keep it flowing,” he advised.
Source: Classfmonline.com/Aseye Adusei
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