The impact of integrated water resource management on the water quality of the Densu River

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In most developing societies, water has not been effectively and efficiently managed over the years because water has been traditionally perceived to be a free commodity. The outcome is pollution that tends to threaten the aquatic environment and the life it supports. The Densu River .Basin (DRB) however, is no exception of this case. The problem has mainly been due to uncoordinated activities in the basin. In view of this the Densu River Basin Board was commissioned to implement Integrated Water Resource management (IWRM) to arrest the situation. " The aim of this thesis is to identify IWRM activities currently on- going in the basin and to find Iheir influences on the water quality of the Densu River. To asses this questionnaires were administered and focus group discussions organised for farmers and some members of the community within the basin. Data was collected from Water Resource Commission (WRC), the Densu Basin Board secretariat and Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL). Samples of water were collected from four monitoring station Potroase (upstream), Mangoase and Nsawam (midstream) and Weija (downstream) and analysed at the environmental quality engineering laboratory of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. The IWRM activities identified being implemented in the Densu river basin includes awareness creation, proper waste management, buffer zone creation, appropriate farming and fishing techniques and water use regulation. Water quality index values calculated were in the range of 15-45 and according to the Solway classification the river can be said to have poor water ; quality. Consumption of alum, chlorine and lime reduced by 6.42%, 10.29% and 89.25 % respectively from 2006 to 2008 at the Koforidua headworks. At Nsawam, alum and chlorine did not show a well defined trend, but lime showed a downward trend over the studied period. This trend in water quality shows that the identified IWRM activities seemed to have had very little impact on the water quality from 2005 to 2008. It was not surprising though, since the IWRM activities identified had immediate cost but long term benefits, hence their full benefits have not yet been derived during the research period. Continuation of the activities especially the waste management and monitoring program will go : a long way to improve the water quality in the Densu river.
A thesis submitted to the College of Engineering in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science.