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Isotope and Hydrochemical Techniques Used to Investigate Groundwater in Ghana

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by Osae, S.; Adomako, D.; Fianko, J.R.; Ganyaglo, S. (Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, Accra (Ghana)); Kortatsi, B.K.; Tay, C. (Water Research Institute, CSIR, Accra (Ghana)); Vitvar, T. (Czech Technical University, Prague (Czech Republic)); Gourcy, L. (BRGM (FR)); Ito, M. (IAEA, Vienna (AT)) 

Ghana is located a few degrees north of the Equator in West Africa, along the Gulf of Guinea. The climate is tropical with wet and dry seasons, though the extent of the seasons differs between regions. Ghana has relatively ample water resources, including the Volta River Basin, which covers about three quarters of the country (Andreini et al., 2000). However, water quantity and quality has gradually declined in major river systems in the country over the past 30 years. The surface water of the Densu River, one of the four major rivers in the coastal water system of the country, is highly contaminated and thus groundwater has become the principal source of water to the communities in the Densu Basin, where important urban centres are located. In the central region, groundwater is also an important drinking water source, owing to seasonal limitations in surface water availability. But water quality in many boreholes has been found to be unsuitable for drinking, due to high electrical conductivity (high salinity up to 5000 μS/cm; Armah, 2002) and elevated iron, manganese and fluoride concentrations (WRCSL, 2008). The lack of safe drinking water and sanitation is considered to be a major cause of disease in the country (OECD/AfDB, 2007). With domestic water demand increasing, and agricultural, mining and industrial activities in the concerned area growing, a safe drinking water supply has become a national priority. Ghana has had two national Technical Cooperation (TC) ptwo national Technical Cooperation (TC) projects with the IAEA in the field of isotope hydrology and participated in a few regional TC isotope hydrology projects. Based on these experiences, recent and current national TC projects have been implemented jointly by the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC), the Ghana Water Resources Commission and the Water Research Institute, with the more specific goal of investigating groundwater systems as part of an integrated water resource management programme and in more focused geographic areas.

Source/Report: International Atomic Energy Agency, Isotope Hydrology Section, Vienna (Austria); 20 p; ISSN 1020-7120; Worldcat; Apr 2012; p. 16-17; INIS-XA–12N0828; 2 figs, 5 refs

Publ. Year: 2012

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