Challenges associated with developing and managing water resources
are becoming more acute. Climate change and environmental degradation
is expected to have diverse impacts on the water cycle, including
altered river flows, changes in surface and groundwater recharge,
more intense floods and surface runoff, and longer droughts. The
forest which filters our water bodies for free is being degraded
rapidly and these water sources - rivers, lakes, aquifers and wetlands
are rapidly being encroached upon. The inability to predict and
manage the quantity and quality of water and the impacts of droughts,
floods and climatic variability imposes large costs on economies
of many countries, including Ghana.
Tensions over water rights are increasing at the community, basin
and country level. Increasingly, many rivers and lakes are being
affected by invasive species. Today, about 5 million people living
in Ghana experience water stress or scarcity. By 2035, it is projected
that half the population, about 18 million people will be living
in conditions of severe water stress. Many countries with limited
water availability depend on shared water resources, increasing
the risk of conflict over these scarce resources.
The most important tool is the development of strategies for the
preparation of integrated water resources management in a country.
More attention should be focused to protect water bodies, sustainably
manage water resources and improve institutional structures. For
the case of the Volta basin, the country must develop infrastructure
for annual and multi-year flow regulation for floods and droughts,
multi-purpose storage, water quality, and basin protection.