Assessment of Water Sources in Terms of Availability, Use and Sufficiency in the Northern Region of Ghana

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Water is an essential resource for our well-being. The availability and sufficiency of water sources in the Northern Region has been questioned due to water scarcity. Therefore, there was the need to assess water sources in terms of availability, use and sufficiency in the Northern Region of Ghana. Questionnaires were administered and measurement of yield of water supplies and infiltration tests in Savelugu-Nantong, Karaga and Gushiegu Districts were done. In addition, information on meteorological and crop data were collected for the study. Analysis of the water sources showed that boreholes, wells, rivers, streams and dug-outs were seasonally affected in terms of the water availability and supply with few boreholes having the potential of meeting domestic and irrigation water requirements in the dry season. Results from measured domestic water consumption by households in the study area showed that they were insufficient for healthy lifestyles. The low consumption level was due to insufficient water supply options, thus resulting in water consumption levels not equating demand. Results from the current and projected population showed that water sources were insufficient in the study area leading to congestion at water supply points with more communities likely to be vulnerable to water scarcity. The prevalence of waterrelated diseases except guineaworm was still high in the study area. The high prevalence of water-related diseases was, however, attributed to poor sanitation and hygiene practices. Results of the study also revealed poor management and sustainability of the water sources due to inappropriate siting, geological limitations, poor design and construction of water sources. Other factors include inactive Water and Sanitation Committees, lack of community’s sense of ownership and inability to generate sufficient incomes. Generally, stand pipes can be recommended for the people since the water is clean, safe and accessible without much use of human energy as is the case with the other sources.
A Thesis Submitted to the Department of Agricultural Engineering, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Soil and Water Engineering.