Framework for Improved Land Use in the Degraded Watersheds of the Coastal Water System Zone of Ghana

Project Team

Ofori, D.A., Anglaaere, L.C.N., Bandoh, W., Amissah, L., Dwomoh, F. & Mireku, J.

Background

Work on this project commenced in January 2008 and was completed in December 2009. The Densu River is one of the four (4) major rivers within the coastal water system of Ghana and it supplies water to over 2 million people in its catchments located in the most densely populated districts in Ghana. Over the past 30 years, Ghana has been experiencing gradual but constant decline of water flow and water quality in its major water systems. This situation has been attributed mainly to unsustainable agriculture and forestry practices that have lead to the degradation of the watershed ecosystem.

The trends in environmental degradation and the associated water supply situation are seen as a result of combination of factors including the absence of an Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) policy framework. However, it is only recent that attempts are being made in Ghana to coordinate efforts through the water and sanitation project (at institutional, local government, traditional council or community levels) to address water management problems. While exploring the depth of traditional knowledge in water resource management within the Densu River basin the project sought to use available secondary data in addition to field surveys to develop a framework for future studies that will lead to a watershed-based land use prioritization model for sustainable water supply within the coastal water system zone of Ghana.

Objective

To establish a sound scientific and socio-cultural basis for integrated land use system that will improve the general ecology of the watersheds for sustainable supply of quality water in the coastal river system using River Densu basin as a case study.