Ahead of World Water Forum 9, Ghana’s Water Resources Commission held a media briefing to discuss the strategic management of groundwater in Ghana.
The focus was to underscore the importance of groundwater in terms of national importance and the hazards associated with unplanned exploitation and drilling.
Head of planning at the Commission, Bob Alfa, explained that over-exploitation of groundwater could lead to land instability and subsidence. Further, the Commission is concerned that the over-use of groundwater will eventually lead to the significant depletion of water resources that, given the effects of climate change, would be very difficult to replenish.
The purpose of the meeting was to draw attention to the critical importance of underground water and its role in sustainable development policy making. The Commission emphasized the essential role groundwater plays in agriculture, industry, ecosystems and climate change adaptation.
The Commission also highlighted the policy requirements and discussed the importance of regulations and the enforcement of them in order to manage resources as well as to protect public health and economic sustainability
In this regard, the Commission is stepping up efforts to prosecute unlicensed water drilling throughout the country. In addition to imposing fines, the Commission will confiscate equipment and ban operations, as necessary.
Separately, the public has been warned to test water quality, regardless of source, about twice a year.
The discussions had a clear focus on achievement of SDG6 or clean water and sanitation for all. In this regard, the Commission was asked to consider capacity-building programmes for policymakers.