NDF - Financing for climate change and development projects

NCF: Climate-Proofed Water Conservation Strategies in Northern Ghana [NDF C3 B6]

The project promotes transfer of knowledge and skill on the sustainable management of water resources through cost-effective climate-proofed water storage and conservation strategies.

Climate-proofed water conservation strategies in Northern Ghana
Ref: NDF C3 B6

Nordic Partner: DHI (Denmark)
Local Partner: Water Resources Commission (WRC)
Other Partner: Geohydronomics Limited (Ghana) and Centre for Human & Environmental Security (Ghana)
Total Project Cost: EUR 93.257,26
NCF Financing: EUR 44,005
Agreement Signed: 28 October 2010
Project Classification: Climate change adaptation
Duration: 8 months (discontinued)

Project Objective

To promote transfer of knowledge and skill on the sustainable management of water resources through cost-effective climate-proofed water storage and conservation strategies.


Climate-based contingency planning for adaptation has not received adequate attention in Ghana, and thus limiting appropriate practical interventions. To raise awareness of adverse impacts of climate change in the three northern regions of Ghana, DANIDA funded a pilot adaptation project from 2009 to 2010 on water storage and conservation, river catchments and floodplain protection, and flood water harnessing together with local communities.

The NCF funded project was intended to implement key recommendations of the DANIDA project. The project plan included: i) designing and testing of sub-surface water storage and flood retention systems in flood prone areas; ii) promoting the use of ecologically sustainable irrigation systems; iii) piloting large dug-outs and earth embankments for harvesting receding flood waters; iv) promoting women’s role in water security and conservation activities along floodplains; and implementing the water conservation and irrigation strategy through domestic and agricultural water use.

The prohject was discontinued, but water resources availability, temporal and spatial distribution in the three northern regions of Ghana were assessed with a high potential noted for the development of surface water and ground water resources and for rainwater harvesting schemes.

Feasible technologies to increase the water safety for household and agricultural water uses were identified during the implementation and the most vulnerable communities to flooding and feasible technologies to increase their resilience to flooding were identified.Capacity building activities for the local staff of the Water Resources Commission and Water user Groups were also completed.

Relevance for Climate Change

Ghana is vulnerable to floods and droughts and the three northern regions are already experiencing higher temperatures, altered patterns of precipitation and runoff, which are increasingly compromising the effective management of water and agricultural resources. Climate forecasts and climate change scenarios predict more severe and frequent patterns of drought and flood events in the country, and therefore there is an urgent need to raise awareness and implement adaptation strategies to reduce the negative impacts of climate change.

Innovation and Knowledge Transfer

The innovativeness in the project lied in the fact that project’s activities were based on vulnerability and adaptation research outcomes that have been planned together with the affected people and communities, and were to be undertaken by the Water Resources Commission (WRC) and its grassroots partners. Knowledge transfer and adaptation learning were central features of the project, as one targets the use of knowledge, skill and local resources to build adaptive capacity. The project was expected to draw on the knowledge of DHI and two other local partners, the Geohydronomics Limited and the Centre for Human & Environmental Security, to assist the WRC in delivering on the first ever practical climate change adaptation project in the water resources sector in Ghana. The project planned to introduce a number of new concepts such as water accounting, clearing house mechanism and community based climate change indicators.

For more information

Water Resources Commission of Ghana