On the 31st to the 2nd of February 2018, CSIR-SARI held a water management workshop at the Institute’s seminar room at Nyankpala. This was to equip staff on how to effectively manage water for productivity. Water is a basic necessity in a Ghanaian community. It is a natural resource which has to be handled with much care. Though water has got many uses – from household activities to industrial, livestock and agricultural purpose, – people end up misusing this precious natural resource. Northern Region has been known for her water scarcity for ages.
Though measures have been placed to curb the situation of water scarcity, there hasn’t been much improvement. This workshop will, therefore, help equip participants with best water management and conservation methods.
Dr. Roger Kanton, the Deputy Director of CSIR-SARI, addressed the workshop. He said water is a basic necessity which needs serious attention. He cited an example of news he read online which indicates that Ghana might even import water from her neighboring countries if the trend of inadequate water does not change. The severity ranges from region to region. He, therefore, admonished that the Deputy Minister of Works and Housing should step in as soon as possible to curb the situation at hand. He advised participants to pay attention to this important workshop.
Dr. Angel de Miguel gave a presentation on water management plan. He presented a comprehensive strategic plan which establishes the priorities and helps a site or agency to allocate water resources between users. He said, “water management is the activity of planning, developing, distributing and optimum use of water resources under defined water policies and regulations. It includes management of water treatment of domestic use, industrial water, sewage or wastewater, management of water resources, flood protection, management of irrigation, and management of the water table”.
Basically, the training was based on water consumption and management. Water management plan has a time-frame. The more accurate the information, the more information for a proper management plan. For water use to be efficiently planned, demarcations should be made on the allocation of water users, water rights, operations, evaluations, and maintenance.
He stated that the CSIR-SARI Water Management Team (SWMT) for the Wambong dam should consist of key community members, SARI staff and probably a government official. The idea of this workshop is to help educate staff on the collection and frequent review of data on the dam to be able to draw an effective plan for managing water.
Dr. Angel de Miguel suggested that since all participants are of different expertise, it will be best to learn from one another for overall development. Wambong dam is a multi-purpose dam which needs good management for both SARI and the community. This will enable sufficient water supply year-round for domestic consumption and irrigational purposes. Water management is not static but subject to changes and reviews as the water use is affected by seasonal and climate changes, and population. He stated that after the training he hopes those trained can help manage water as time elapsed.
Furthermore, he was of the view that at the end of the training the models will be efficiently used to evaluate and assimilate the knowledge acquired. He said, with the numerous uses of water, water needs to be properly managed to prevent its scarcity. Plants need water to grow, livestock need water to survive, humans need water to survive and industries to need water to function. Water scarcity is as a result of lack of infrastructure, subject to change as years pass by.