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A Tool for Sumanpa Catchment Sustainable Water Resources and Socio-economic Development
The sumanpa catchment, as recently reported by Dr. R. Kotei and friends, is well endowed with water resources, but the availability changes markedly from season to season, year to year, the distribution is far from uniform and is assuming a critical dimension.
By Richard Kotei
Nov. 12, 2015

Water supplies in the catchment, however, are obtained almost exclusively from groundwater sources and there are local development programmes to ensure continuous supplies. The study reveals how trends in rainfall, population growth, landuse and evapotranspiration have reduced the supply of quality water in the Sumanpa catchment. The dwindling supply has resulted in the sinking of more than 25 new boreholes in and around the urban centre between 2013 and 2015. Communities in the catchment regard water as a commercial product like any other rather than a heritage which must be monitored, protected, defended and treated as such, underscored the team.

Dr. Kotei and his team also highlighted on the state of Sumanpa’s surface water resources vis- a-vis current trend in actual evapotranspiration and the rate of natural resource exploitation. The paper attributed the catchment’s inability to satisfy the demand for socio-economic development to decrease in the municipal rainfall days (frequency), increasing dry length and demand for groundwater for dry season agriculture. Again, it is reported that the catchment’s sources of water is shifting from surface to underground and the annual abstraction has been conjectured to be catching up with annual recharge. The purpose of groundwater use is largely determined by its accessibility, quality and the unavailability of other alternatives. In addition, they stressed the need for the model as sachet drinking water producers, secondary and tertiary institutions in the study area are depending solely on boreholes (groundwater). Effective management of the catchment’s resources calls for the collection of reliable data on resource quantity predictive variables they stressed.

The team describes the Sumanpa model as a simplified hydrological system representing an aspect of the entire stream catchment. Hydrological models, according to them, have become increasingly important tools for the management of water resources of river catchments. They suggested the need to ascertain the potential of the catchment’s hydrological characteristics in order to set the agenda for a successful implementation of the national water policy enacted in 2005, the development and management of the proposed irrigation scheme and the growing dry season vegetable production in the study area. This way, they added, information such as extreme and mean flow levels and pattern will be available to users of water and engineers engaged in designing for and planning conservation-oriented water use.

Kotei and friends enumerated some advantages of the developed model to resource managers, administrators and policy formulators of the study area as; a tool for monitoring recharge and discharge conditions under varying catchment characteristics, generating synthetic sequences of the catchment hydrologic data for facility design and forecasting the conditions of water supply systems within the catchment, helping to gain a better understanding of the hydrologic phenomena operating in the Sumanpa catchment and of how changes, variabilities and trends of events in the catchment may affect these phenomena. “The model developed can also provide valuable data for studying the potential impacts of changes in landuse or climate and ascertain the potential of the catchment hydrological characteristics and to assess the socio-economic and environmental effects of alternative development and management policies within the catchment area and which can be extended to other catchments with similar characteristics.” they stated. The dataset used in developing this model was a time series of average monthly river discharge collected from 1985 to 2009 at the stream’s gauge station in Ashanti Mampong.

To provide a tool for resource monitoring, Kotei and friends showed how runoff and recharge data were generated from the stream’s daily stage data and its rating curve model, developed at the gauge station using the PART and RORA computer programmes. The paper further indicated how scatter plots of recharge and its predictor variables were developed to establish the dependency, magnitude and direction of groundwater recharge and its predictor variables to avoid multicollinearity in the model (tool). It also explains why landuse change data brought about by deforestation and urbanization and which alter rates of erosion, infiltration and overland flow, could not be included in the scatter plots and hence the model. They used three predictor variables to develop the catchment’s lumped conceptual deterministic groundwater recharge model using the scatter plots in Figs. 1, 2 and 3 and multiple regression model.

Fig. 1: correlation between recharge and rainfall

Fig. 2: Correlation between groundwater recharge and runoff

Fig. 3: Correlation between groundwater recharge and actual evapotranspiration

The model, thus, developed is stated below.

Rcht denotes groundwater recharge, Pt is rainfall, RUNt is runoff and ETat is actual evapotranspiration.

Dr. Richard Kotei
Department of Agriculture Engineering and Mechanization, College of Agriculture Education, University of Education, Winneba, Mampong-Ashanti, Ghana

Dr. Agyare Wilson Agyei
Department of Agricultural Engineering, College of Engineering, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana

Professor Kyei-Baffour Nicholas
Department of Agricultural Engineering, College of Engineering, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana

Nana Kena Frempong
Department of Mathematics, College of Science, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana

Dr. Atta-Darkwa Thomas
Department of Agricultural Engineering, University of Energy and Natural Resources, Sunyani, Ghana

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