Feasibility study of rainwater harvesting potential as an alternative source of water supply for domestic and agricultural use: case study of some selected communities in Bongo District of the Upper East Region

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Mastering the techniques of water recovery is of central important to further the development of the study areas. Fresh water needs to be harnessed and supply to meet a variety of consumptive use water demands of the human population. A good quality Rainwater harvesting system provides people with access to on-site water supply, either next to their homes or at a local public building such as schools. This project is to make a feasibility study of Rainwater harvesting potential as an alternative water supply for domestic and agricultural uses in three selected communities in the Bongo District of Upper East Region . Very frequently most of the rain falls from April through October with little or no precipitation during the remaining months. Mean annual rainfall in the study area is about 91 1.45mm from the analysis of rainfall data collected for periods of 1976-2004. From the survey conducted in the study area, introduction of rainwater harvesting culture for agriculture will reduced the rural-urban migration (especially the youth) by 35%.The annual rainfall that was available for harvest from rooftops in the study areas was determined to be 1,561 .97m3 while the quantum of rainwater that can be supplied annually from rooftops in the three communities is to be l,675.56m3 and the size of storage tanks available from the study was 647.57m3.These results showed that quantum of rainwater that could be actually harvested., and supplied with the rooftops rainwater harvesting systems were limited more by the size of storage tanks that was practical feasible than by the rainfall that was actually available. As the objective of the study is to promote equitable access to water and its sustainable utilization, this could only be achieved by providing storage facilities to store 7,452.75m3 of water to be used during 150 days of dry period in the three communities. It is recommended that in rainwater projects in these communities we need to adopt an integrated and holistic approach which goes beyond only technical details and economic feasibility: motivation and total integration of the community into every aspect of the project from inception to evaluation is essential for long-term success of the project.
A thesis submitted to the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science, 2005