HYDROLOGIC, ECOLOGIC AND LIVELIHOOD IMPACT ASSESSMENT OF A SYSTEM OF SMALL RESERVOIRS IN GHANA.
small multi-purpose reservoirs have been built in rural Ghana, where rainfall is highly
variable. These small reservoirs are an important source of water for domestic
consumption, livestock watering, small-scale irrigation and other beneficial uses in
many communities. However, small reservoir development has been made in an ad hoc
fashion without concern for their integrated ... read moreimpacts. Many of them have deteriorated
over time due to poor maintenance. This is further confounded by the lack of a complete
inventory of the reservoirs, because they were funded by different agencies with little
coordinated effort among the agencies to facilitate a regional optimization of
investments. When an individual small reservoir is considered, alteration to the entire
watershed is not significant. However, however, the small reservoirs have rarely been
considered as a system, thus little consideration has been given to their collective
impact on the environment and livelihoods of the local population in the long term.
Furthermore, the impact is difficult to quantify given the diffuse nature of the small
reservoirs. This research intended to contribute to the limited number of studies
available in literature on small reservoirs in developing countries by investigating the
effect of the small reservoirs as a system in the Upper East Region of Ghana. Using the
field data collected in the Upper East Region, the study was to 1) assess the
hydrologic, ecologic and livelihood impacts of a large ensemble of small reservoirs; 2)
formulate appropriate water policy and planning strategies if any negative impact is
found; and 3) provide recommendation on management of small reservoirs with the goal of
improving livelihoods. Results from the study show that the current level of small
reservoirs development has very low impact on the flow regime. Evidence that the small
reservoirs had caused any change to the ecosystem was not found in the study area. Small
reservoirs have positive impacts on the farmers' livelihood, but there are issues with
the functioning of the water users association (WUA), an entity established to manage
the small reservoirs. Capacity building and monitoring of the WUAs should be conducted
to strengthen their operation.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Tufts University, 2012.
Submitted to the Dept. of Civil Engineering.
Advisor: Richard Vogel.
Committee: Peter Walker, and Paul Kirshen.
Keywords: Civil engineering, Hydrologic sciences, and Water resources management.read less