EPA predicts severe water crisis (May 25, 2016)

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has predicted severe water crisis for the country by 2025 if nothing is done to reduce the increasing pollution of water bodies and forest degradation.

The acting Deputy Executive Director, Technical of the agency,Mr  Ebenezer Appah-Sampong, also anticipated that the country’s per capita water availability would be 1000 cubic metre  (m3) per annum, making Ghana a water-stressed country.

The situation is also likely to lead to high water tariffs as the cost of treating the polluted water would continue to go up. 

According to him, the trend could also breed conflicts as communities would employ people to guard their water bodies. 

He was speaking at a colloquium organised by the Forestry Commission as apart of this year’s Forestry Week and Greening Ghana Day celebrations  in Accra yesterday.  

The colloquium brought together experts from forestry, water and environmental sectors to discuss “the role of forest in protecting water bodies”.  

The EPA’s projection comes on the heels of a similar projection by the Water Research Institute that although Ghana has no problem with water sources, potable water sources are diminishing at such a fast rate that the country faces a looming water crisis by the year 2030 if conditions continue to persist. 
 River Asasre in Himan has been destroyed by activities of illegal miners
More alarming from the institute’s data is the fact that there will be no treatable water source, either surface or ground water, by 2030. 

“I have seen a report by a scientist on the consequences of illegal mining on water quality; water that is unsafe for domestic use and unhealthy to support fish and other aquatic life, of degraded land unable to produce food, pools of water serving as mosquito breeding sites and child delinquencies.

“One of the biggest problems caused by this activity is the use of mercury which is poisonous to human health, getting into the food chain when accumulated in fish. And let’s not forget about the furious deforestation,”Mr Appah-Sampong said.

Ghana’s water figures 
According to the Ghana Water Company Limited statistics, the country's water demand by 2020 would be 5.13 billion. 

Currently, the national demand for urban water stands at 257 million gallons per day (MGD), while production is 219 million MGD.

According to research, water pollution causes approximately 14,000 deaths per day globally, mostly due to contamination of drinking water by untreated sewage in developing countries. 

Mr Appah-Sampong observed that the case for Ghana could be very disturbing given the improper waste management practices.

He, however, believed that the situation could be turned around through continued public education to change behaviour and strengthening community water management systems. 

The National Director of  A Rocha Ghana, an environmental NGO,  Mr Seth Appiah-Kubi, drew attention to the alarming rate at which the price of a litre of  bottled water was inching closer to a litre of crude oil. 

Mr  Appiah-Kubi, whose NGO is working towards ensuring that the Atiwa forest is protected from further degradation, said  the removal of vegetation and mineral deposits from the Atiwa forest would compromise its water storage capacity, jeopardising the reliable discharge of freshwater into some of the country’s rivers including Densu and Birim. 

He, therefore, called for the upgrade of the status of the Atiwa forest reserve to a national park so it could receive the much needed protection. 

The Operations Manager of the Forest Services Division of the Forestry Commission,Dr Kwakye Ameyaw, in stating the harmful effects of pollution on the country’s water bodies said apart from the cost of water treatment increasing because of poor water quality, the country’s hydro-electric power turbines also wore out easily when battered by dirty water.

Forestry Week 
The Forestry Week  is celebrated to commemorate the International Day of Forests which falls on March 21 each year but Ghana chooses the month of May every year for the celebration of the Day to coincide with the major rainy season. 
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has predicted severe water crisis for the country by 2025 if nothing is done to reduce the increasing pollution of water bodies and forest degradation.
The acting Deputy Executive Director, Technical of the agency,Mr  Ebenezer Appah-Sampong, also anticipated that the country’s per capita water availability would be 1000 cubic metre  (m3) per annum, making Ghana a water-stressed country.
The situation is also likely to lead to high water tariffs as the cost of treating the polluted water would continue to go up.
According to him, the trend could also breed conflicts as communities would employ people to guard their water bodies.
He was speaking at a colloquium organised by the Forestry Commission as apart of this year’s Forestry Week and Greening Ghana Day celebrations  in Accra yesterday.
The colloquium brought together experts from forestry, water and environmental sectors to discuss “the role of forest in protecting water bodies”.
The EPA’s projection comes on the heels of a similar projection by the Water Research Institute that although Ghana has no problem with water sources, potable water sources are diminishing at such a fast rate that the country faces a looming water crisis by the year 2030 if conditions continue to persist.
More alarming from the institute’s data is the fact that there will be no treatable water source, either surface or ground water, by 2030.
“I have seen a report by a scientist on the consequences of illegal mining on water quality; water that is unsafe for domestic use and unhealthy to support fish and other aquatic life, of degraded land unable to produce food, pools of water serving as mosquito breeding sites and child delinquencies.
“One of the biggest problems caused by this activity is the use of mercury which is poisonous to human health, getting into the food chain when accumulated in fish. And let’s not forget about the furious deforestation,”Mr Appah-Sampong said.
Ghana’s water figures 
According to the Ghana Water Company Limited statistics, the country's water demand by 2020 would be 5.13 billion.
Currently, the national demand for urban water stands at 257 million gallons per day (MGD), while production is 219 million MGD.
According to research, water pollution causes approximately 14,000 deaths per day globally, mostly due to contamination of drinking water by untreated sewage in developing countries.
Mr Appah-Sampong observed that the case for Ghana could be very disturbing given the improper waste management practices.
He, however, believed that the situation could be turned around through continued public education to change behaviour and strengthening community water management systems.
The National Director of  A Rocha Ghana, an environmental NGO,  Mr Seth Appiah-Kubi, drew attention to the alarming rate at which the price of a litre of  bottled water was inching closer to a litre of crude oil.
Mr  Appiah-Kubi, whose NGO is working towards ensuring that the Atiwa forest is protected from further degradation, said  the removal of vegetation and mineral deposits from the Atiwa forest would compromise its water storage capacity, jeopardising the reliable discharge of freshwater into some of the country’s rivers including Densu and Birim.
He, therefore, called for the upgrade of the status of the Atiwa forest reserve to a national park so it could receive the much needed protection.
The Operations Manager of the Forest Services Division of the Forestry Commission,Dr Kwakye Ameyaw, in stating the harmful effects of pollution on the country’s water bodies said apart from the cost of water treatment increasing because of poor water quality, the country’s hydro-electric power turbines also wore out easily when battered by dirty water.
Forestry Week 
The Forestry Week  is celebrated to commemorate the International Day of Forests which falls on March 21 each year but Ghana chooses the month of May every year for the celebration of the Day to coincide with the major rainy season. 
- See more at: http://www.graphic.com.gh/news/general-news/64450-epa-predicts-severe-water-crisis.html#sthash.bDqxdWa2.dpuf

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