Due to growing demand and limited rainfall this year, Sekondi-Takoradi, adjoining districts, and municipalities in the Western Region are experiencing erratic water supply.
This circumstance has resulted in a low inflow of raw water into river bodies, particularly the Pra River, where the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) harvests water for processing and distribution to the Sekondi-Takoradi metropolis and the Wassa East District.
Due to low inflows, GWCL’s undammed intake points — Daboase and Bussumdo — have low water levels, making it difficult to extract enough from them for treatment.
The company’s dam site at Inchaban in the Shama District has equally been affected by the low inflows.
Nana Yaw Barima Barnie, Western Regional Public Relations Officer of the Ghana Water Company, stated that the only solution was for customers to conserve water.
“While we work to ensure that we meet the increasing demands, we want members of the public to store water and be careful how they use it,” he said.
Giving details of the situation, he said that the situation had forced the water company to start early rationing of water from this month instead of the usual December or early January when such controlled distribution was done.
In terms of supply, Nana Barnie said currently, production levels were between three million gallons and 5.6 million gallons; volumes considered inadequate to meet the demand.
“If we have limited inflows, it will definitely affect our production. In the recent past, our Inchaban intake has been recording about 979,000 gallons instead of two million gallons, so you can imagine the shortfall,” he said.
“The challenge is that we are just having limited flow; we were expecting rains even in September to October, but what did we see? Limited rains, hence low inflows into our basin,” he said.
He also explained that since its intake points along the Pra River were just water basins, the company only collected raw water for treatment and the rest flowed freely into the sea as the river was not dammed.
He said damming the Pra River would have been the ideal situation, but it came with a cost and social impacts.
“The hard truth is that large dams have issues; they can cause the extinction of some aquatic species, huge losses to forests, the disappearance of birds in floodplains, erosion of deltas, wetlands, and farmlands, and many other irreversible impacts that have to be considered when planning to dam a river,” Mr. Barnie stated