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Area: 5888268 km2
Brazil; Peru; Suriname; France; Colombia; Guyana; Bolivia; Venezuela; Ecuador
Santa Cruz; Manaus; La Paz
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City & Country

Water-Related Challenge Costs

Total annual estimated cost to address all water-related challenges: $3,359,210,818.00

Share of total annual estimated cost to address each individual challenge (2015 $USD):

  • Access to Drinking Water: $793,783,133.00 - [24%]
  • Access to Sanitation: $1,658,862,119.00 - [49%]
  • Industrial Pollution: $256,446,568.00 - [8%]
  • Agricultural Pollution: $21,470,836.00 - [1%]
  • Water Scarcity: $68,779,692.00 - [2%]
  • Water Management: $559,868,470.00 - [17%]

For more about this data, see information on WRI’s Achieving Abundance dataset here.

Water Challenges

As reported by organizations on the Hub.

Access to Water Supply and Water Services
Local Water Resource Governance
Physical water supply
Upstream Water Issues
Compliance with Local Regulations and Widely-Accepted Standards
Land Use Issues
Water Demand and Competition among Users

Country Overview

1.1.1.WATER RESOURCES Three main river systems drain the country: -The Volta river system consists of the Oti and Daka rivers, the White and Black Volta rivers, and the Pru, Sene and Afram rivers. The basin covers 70 per cent of the country area; -The southwestern river system comprises the Bia, Tano, Ankobra and Pra rivers and covers 22 per cent of the country area; and -The coastal river system comprises the Ochi-Nakwa, Ochi Amissah, Ayensu, Densu and the Tordzie rivers, covering 8 per cent of the country area. Groundwater occurs mainly in the following formations: -The Voltaian formation has little or no primary porosity and thus groundwater occurrence is associated with the development of secondary porosity because of jointing, shearing, fracturing and weathering. In the wet forested southwestern part of the country, the weathered zone has an average thickness of 60m while it is thinnest in the semi-arid area in the extreme northeast where the mean thickness is about 10m. Yields rarely exceed 6m3/hr. -The Cenozoic and Mesozoic sediments occur mainly in the extreme southeastern and western part of the country. Three aquifers occur in this formation. The first aquifer is unconfined and occurs in the Recent Sand very close to the coast. It is between two and four metres deep and contains meteoric water. The intermediate aquifer is either semi-confined or confined and occurs mainly in the Red Continental Deposits of sand clay and gravel. The depth of this aquifer varies from 6m to 120m. The third aquifer occurs in the limestone and varies in depth between 120 and 300m. Groundwater in this aquifer occurs under artesian conditions and is fresh. The average yield in this limestone aquifer is about 184m3/hr. Falling groundwater levels have been observed in the Upper Regions where over 2,000 boreholes have been drilled since the mid-1970s in the rural areas to provide potable water to communities. Wetlands constitute about 10 per cent of Ghana’s total land area. The three main types of wetlands are: i) marine/coastal wetlands; ii) inland wetlands; and iii) human-made wetlands. Wetlands in Ghana are very productive and their resources have been traditionally used by local populations as a source of the basic necessities of life, ranging from building materials and hunting and fishing areas, to sources of water for humans and livestock. Local populations have developed traditional knowledge systems and practices which govern the management of wetlands. Ghana is a signatory to the Ramsar Convention and there are five Ramsar sites of international importance in the country: i) Densu delta; ii) Songor; iii) Keta complex; iv) MuniPomadze; v) Sakumo lagoons. All these are protected areas and they have been gazetted as such. Other wetlands located in the forest and wildlife reserves of the Mole National Park, and theBlack Volta, Sene, Bia and Owabi Wildlife Sanctuaries are protected too. Some wetlands, which fall outside the conserved wetland areas, are subject to traditional conservation practices such as the rivers Ankobra and Pra. The two most important lakes in the country are Lake Volta and Lake Bosomtwi in the Ashanti region. Ghana’s total actual renewable water resources are estimated to be 53.2km3/year, of which 30.3km3/year are internally produced. Internally produced surface water amounts to 29km3/year, while groundwater is estimated at 26.3km3/year. The overlap between surface water and groundwater is estimate/yr. Abo of surface water enter the country annually, of wh come from Burkina Fa from Côte d’Ivoir from Togo. The Akosombo Dam was completed in the mid-1960s and impounds the Volta River to form Lake Volta, one of the largest artificial lakes. The hydropower capacity of the dam is 912 MW. Lake Volta has a surface area of 8502km2, a maximum depth of 91m and a capacity of 147.96km3. The total dam capacity of the country is 148.5km3.

1.1.2.WATER USE The main consumptive water uses in Ghana are for municipal, industrial and irrigation purposes. In 2000, about 652 million m3 were withdrawn for irrigation (66 per cent), 235 million m3 for municipalities (24 per cent) and 95 million m3 for the industry (10 per cent), giving a total water withdrawal of 982 million m3. The combined withdrawal for municipalities and industry is 95 million m3 for rural and 235 million m3 for urban areas. Current water use for hydro-electricity generation (only at the Akosombo Dam), which is non-consumptive water use, is 37.843 km3/yr. The sources of water supply in the country are surface water and groundwater. Groundwater is usually abstracted from boreholes for most rural areas. Some borehole supplies are also tapped to supplement urban water supplies. In 2000, 95 per cent of the withdrawal for urban supply was from surface water and the remaining 5 per cent from groundwater.

1.2.WATER QUALITY, ECOSYSTEMS AND HUMAN HEALTH Major environmental problems are: recurrent drought in the north which severely affects agricultural activities; deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; poaching and habitat destruction which threatens wildlife populations; water pollution; and inadequate supplies of potable water. Water quality in the country is generally good, especially for irrigation purposes, and the impact of irrigation on water quality is not significant, probably because of the limited extent of irrigation. However, there are isolated problems associated with pollution not necessarily related to irrigation directly, but from general agricultural practice. In the Akomadan area, where irrigated tomato farming is practised, there are reports of pesticides in the water and in the soil in the vicinity of the Country Overview - Ghana irrigation site because of the application of pesticides. Many of the water sources used for periurban irrigation, at least in the Kumasi area, are heavily polluted. Use of water with levels of microbiological pollution well above WHO guidelines for irrigation is commonplace and therefore both growers and consumers are at risk from bacterial and helminth infections. The increasing use of seasonally flooded flat valley bottoms poses problems of water pollution for municipal use downstream. Groundwater pollution is not widespread and is limited to some agricultural sites which are not necessarily irrigation sites. However, cases of high levels of nitrate and phosphate concentrations have been reported, especially near agricultural sites. In some areas, the occurrence of salt in groundwater is a major problem and this limits its utilization for irrigation purposes. Mining is predominant in the southwestern river system and in this area pollution of surface water and groundwater has been observed because of the use of cyanide and other poisonous chemicals. Siltation is a cause for concern in most dams and reservoirs. However, very few studies have been carried out to establish what percentages of the various dams have been silted up. In the case of Lake Volta it is not known how much of the dead storage has been lost to siltation. The siltation volume in the Weija reservoir is not known either, but initial studies carried out prior to its construction concluded that after 50 years of operation less than one per cent of the volume of the dam would be lost to siltation. The positive impact of irrigation includes improved access to food and hence better nutrition to some extent, though this effect is limited since irrigation contributes less than three per cent of the country’s food production. Some families have higher incomes because of the use of irrigation facilities. On the other hand, the incidence of waterborne, water-based and water-related diseases increases in areas where irrigation projects are sited. No specific studies have been conducted to establish the percentage of the population affected.

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Organizations in Ghana

AFORD Foundation (Aid for Development) is a local non-governmental organisation operating in the northern region of Ghana, with its headquarters in Tamale. AFORD was founded in 1996 and registered in 1997 by a group of development workers desiring to assist … Learn More

To reduce infant mortality through improved maternal health in Africa. Learn More

To support grassroots efforts to promote water and food security, improve livelihood, and empower deprived and underserved communities of Ghana and West Africa. Learn More

Our Goal Take action to protect the Volta River Basin. This will be accomplished by collaborating with local authorities, such as the Volta Basin authority, and other local stakeholders. Our Mission Educate people on how to live in harmony with … Learn More

Diageo plc is a British multinational alcoholic beverages company, with its headquarters in London, England. Diageo is the world's largest producer of spirits and a key producer of beer. Diageo's commitment to water stewardship is outlined in its Blueprint Water … Learn More

Earth Care Ghana is a Nationwide, Youth-based environmental advocacy organization. We combine the power of the grassroots with independent research, practical ideas, and tough-minded advocacy to win real results for our environment. We believe that climate change is the single … Learn More

Mission The mission of GNWP is to sustainably improve WASH (water, sanitation, hygiene) conditions in urban areas of Ghana. GNWP results contribute directly to SDG 6, the UN Sustainable Development goal for WASH. GNWP funds innovative projects that use public-private … Learn More

To mitigate societal challenges through civic engagements, reaserch and policy analysis to stimulate community and national development. Learn More

Our Mission is to make water where and when you need it, no matter the quantity. We believe everyone everywhere should have clean, fresh and drinkable water anytime and always. LIPHE is a Water technology, innovation, development, production and marketing … Learn More

Meaningful Life International has a passion for helping individuals see themselves as God sees them; Valuable and Worthwhile by uplifting their spirits through the Gospel of Jesus Christ, their Minds through Leadership Development, and their Bodies by bringing Medical Care … Learn More

Consulting Services in the Water Resources and Environmental Sectors Proactive Solutions for Water Resources and Environmental Challenges At MEK Earth &amp; Environmental Inc., we help clients in Canada and internationally to develop world-class, sustainable programs in the water resources and … Learn More

A grassroot organization, to raise awereness and funding for : Civil Society, Social Development, Health; Education/Skill Training for Girls, Disabled children, Youth and Women; Food Security and Environment; Learn More

· Climate change impact risk assessments, strategy, adaptation and proofing · Resilient cities / business · Water resources yield and supply assurance · Hydrology, specialising in Forest Hydrology (Professionally registered) · Flood modelling · Conceptual water supply planning · GIS … Learn More

P2W is a leading water treatment company. While our company can treat various types of water - Sanitation and Wastewater, we specializes in treating industrial wastewater from various sectors and espicialy mining. Our mission is to implement the most cutting … Learn More

Our mission is to develop and demonstrate affordable, economically viable solutions, to share sector knowledge, and to build partnerships that reach millions in underserved communities. Safe Water Network is a non-profit organization working to advance the scale and impact of … Learn More

Our focus is on designing, manufacturing and supplying sanitation solutions that impact positively on the enviornment and thereby contributing to SDG 6 directly, but indirectly on SDG 3. Our toilet products are designed to operate without water for flushing, and … Learn More

The Toilet Board Coalition (TBC) is a business platform enabling private sector engagement; connecting large and small companies; and ensuring close collaboration between private, public and non-profit sectors with the common goal to accelerate the business of sanitation for all. … Learn More

Water For People exists to promote the development of high-quality drinking water and sanitation services, accessible to all, and sustained by strong communities, businesses, and governments. OUR VISION A world where every person has access to reliable and safe water … Learn More

WaterStep responds to critical needs for safe water by evaluating and implementing solutions and teaching people to use those tools. WaterStep saves lives with safe water by empowering communities to take care of their own long-term water needs. We believe … Learn More

Development of effective strategies aand plans to focus on enhancing capacity of the vulnerable and excluded in society to acquant themselves with civil rights, personal liberties and adequate protection to gauranttee and ensure all rights and protection clauses enshrine in … Learn More

Projects in Ghana

Since 2016 the Toilet Board Coalition’s accelerator program has been supporting entrepreneurs with bespoke mentorship, partnership and the visibility to scale their sanitation economy businesses. More than toilets alone, we look for commercially viable businesses across the sanitation economies – … Learn More

RACAP was mandated to lead the water, sanitation, and hygeine (WASH) response of the Sierra Leone Pujehun District through the District Emergency Operation Centre (DEOC). This poses a challenge for the management of RACAP because of lack of support while … Learn More

The construction of a Biomethanation Sewage Plant will enhance the management of faecal waste which is a major problem to the Municipality just like others across the Country. The successful implementation of this activity will go a long way to … Learn More

Like in many countries in Africa, the lack of access to clean water and sanitation systems is a central public health concern in Ghana. Even though the country’s National Water Policy clearly captures the need to increase the coverage of … Learn More

The need for improved farming techniques among smallholder farmers has been aggravated by the growing world population and changing climatic conditions. This is especially true in Sub-Saharan Africa where agriculture is the main economic activity in many countries and most … Learn More

The project dubbed “P2P” will scale-up access to finance and technical assistance for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and households in Ghana. The goal is to increase access to WASH products and services by households/house owners in Ghana. This … Learn More

The key objective of this project is to provide clean, reliable drinking water for the students in the community of Begoro in Eastern Ghana during summer when there can be severe water shortages.Project ResultsWe expect that the newly installed well … Learn More

Wuzda have considered water as a right for every person to access and also a basic necessity, Tamale rural by coverage has attracted 8.13% for a population of 61,175. Although Tamale is a metropolitan area but it has almost the … Learn More

Many communities we work with since 2011 are still owning water sanitation and hygiene facilities. They have kept in adequate management plan that supervise how projects are manage to benefit community members'. There are current development where communities request for … Learn More

Ghana faces problems with sanitation, solid waste, soil fertility and power supply. We provide sanitation/waste collection services, incl production of bio-fertiliser and power for the community of Ashaiman, 15 km east of Accra, Ghana. The project is done in cooperation … Learn More

Develop a business support unit to support businesses in WASH, pilot an entrepreneurship development programme for young people and build the capacity of NGOs and CSOs in Ghana Learn More

The MDF Training and Consultancy EnterWASH programme is seeking to enhance capacity in the WASH sector and develop entrepreneurship support services to assist (young) professionals to initiate, develop and start sustainable businesses within the WASH sector. Learn More

This project aims to improve the water, sanitation and hygiene situation in combination with football at 100 schools in Ghana. Learn More

In Ghana we donated materials to the Bongo and Kassena Nankana West Districts in the Upper East Region. These included: 30 handwashing stations known as Veronica buckets, comprising 100 litre buckets with waste bins, tissue and soap; 5 non-contact thermometers; … Learn More

In India, the COVID-19 pandemic hit just as our farmers were ready to harvest. Harvesting is a time-sensitive process in which farmers collect, sell and transport crops within a short timeframe. Lockdowns meant our farmers could not hire the usual … Learn More

Intermediation 2 Supporting the transition to low emission, climate resilient agriculture in Guatemala and Mexico through the creation of a risk sharing facility to unlock innovative and scalable financial instruments for MSMEs. In Latin America, the combined effects of climate … Learn More

The International Water Association and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lead the joint initiative the ‘Nexus Dialogue on Water Infrastructure Solutions’. The Water-Energy-Food Security Nexus ties three mutually dependent securities together. With population increase, land-use and climate … Learn More

The overall goal of the project is to reduce poverty and improve health, environmental and economic conditions. This is done by empowering people and creating an enabling environment for achieving increased sustainable access to and use of safe water and … Learn More

This initiative will contribute to capacity enhancement of WASH committees, school teachers and pupils as well as communities in carrying out WASH services among the most marginalized people and schools in project communities. The project is aimed at improving the … Learn More

Increasing access to and use of sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene services in 10 communities in the Central Gonja District of Northern region. The strategy is a programmatic approach involving several partners including the public and private sectors. The 'FIETS' … Learn More

Plant-for-Ghana is a pioneer reforestation project by Plant-for-the-Planet Ghana - a national affiliate of Plant-for-the-Planet Foundation in Germany. The Yucatan Reforestation project in Mexico, with its valuable experience, serves here as a lesson learned project. Sustainable reforestation is the way … Learn More

Project WET is currently active in more than 75 countries around the world through a network of partner organizations that range from small NGOs to major international corporations and organizations. We only go where we’re invited! We work with our … Learn More

It is estimated that one in five people are employed in global supply chains. Corporations have the potential to play an influential role in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 6, “ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for … Learn More

Project Maji received funding from Aqua for All to introduce a new model to build a business case for safe water economics in rural, underserved communities in Sub-Saharan Africa. The three-year programme in Kenya aims to accelerate service delivery to … Learn More

Access to clean and reliable sources of water is a fundamental human right, essential for sustenance, health, and development. Unfortunately, the people of Nornyikpo have had to live without this essential basic need for many years. Nestled between rolling hills … Learn More

The goal of this project is to maintain, upscale, and accelerate access to sustainable Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) services to vulnerable populations within Tamale Metropolis and environs. Objectives 1. To promote the active role of the private sector in … Learn More

Our response strategy at this site has been to implement an overall water stewardship programme that includes targets specific to water stressed sites. The timeframe for this response strategy is the period of 2007 through 2020 - specifically, the site … Learn More

Watershed will take up the challenge by putting lobby and advocacy as one of the key pillars to achieve faster results. Watershed is a strategic partnership between the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and IRC, Simavi, Wetlands International and Akvo. … Learn More

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Hornam Azanda
Meaningful Life International
Water Action Hub Team
Primary Contact  
Ibrahim Wallee

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