Ghana to harness sea water for household use

The Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing would undertake a pilot project at Teshie in Accra, to supply sea water to Ghana Water Company Limited for treatment to meet the water needs of the country.

Successful completion of the project would make it possible for Ghana to produce about 10 million gallons of fresh water a day.

Mr Minta Aboagye, Director of Water at the Ministry, who made this known to the Ghana News Agency at a day’s workshop on “water rights in informal economies in the Volta Basin”, in Accra on Friday, said the project was expected to begin at the later part of the year.

Mr Aboagye said: “As we all know fresh water is diminishing in quantity and we need to fall on sea water, which is in abundance.

“We need to take a serious look at issues that will ensure that each and every one has a fair share and judicious use of water resources,”

The workshop was organised by the Water Resources Commission (WRC) in collaboration with the International Water Management Institute, to disseminate results of the study on “how formal water laws foster the development of small-scale water users”.

Mr Aboagye said government was expanding and increasing water treatment plants to stop the perennial water shortages in the Accra-Tema metropolis.

He said there was a programme in the offing to renew the entire network.

Mr Ben Ampomah, Acting Executive Secretary of WRC, said the project was aimed at forging dialogue and collaboration with the traditional authorities to facilitate the protection and management of the country’s water resources.

He said there were no state laws to govern water bodies.

Mr Ampomah said the Legislative Instrument 1692 of 2001, spelt out regulations for the issuance of water permits or grants for various water uses including, domestic, commercial, industrial, agricultural, power generation, fisheries (aquaculture), recreational, and under water (wood) harvesting.

He said under the regulations there were two forms of exemptions – outright exemptions from the acquisition of water rights and exemption from permit.

The outright exemption included any water use resulting from the abstraction of water by manual means, water use for purposes of fire fighting, while the second category include water abstraction by mechanical means, but only applicable when the abstraction level does not exceed five litres per second; and water abstracted for subsistence agricultural for land area does not exceed one hectare.

“Individual or household water use in most rural communities and for small-scale activities are exempt either from holding a permit or from registration,” he added.

Mr Ampomah said currently 169 major water users had received permits.

Source: GNA

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