Analysis of the Suitability of Surface Water for Irrigation Purposes: The Southwestern and Coastal River Systems in Ghana

DOI: 10.4236/jwarp.2011.310080   PDF   HTML     4,804 Downloads   8,581 Views   Citations


Surface water basins all over the world are very crucial in irrigation industries. Irrigation schemes are particularly crucial in the agricultural economies due largely to the fact that global climate change has led to drastic changes in rainfall patterns. As a result, rain-fed agriculture alone is no more sustainable and irrigation schemes are being encouraged as poverty reduction/eradication strategies in the developing countries. This study was conducted to assess the overall controls on surface water resources in the coastal and south-western river basins in Ghana, and determine the suitability of these surface waters for irrigation activities. Multivariate statistical methods were applied to data on the physico-chemical parameters from the coastal and southwestern river basins. This study finds that the quality of surface water from these basins is controlled principally by leachate of chemicals from solid and mine wastes, the chemistry of rainfall, weathering of underlying silicate mineral-rich rocks and sediments, agricultural and domestic wastes. All the parameters are within the acceptable national concentration ranges for most domestic and industrial purposes. Sodium adsorption ratio (SAR) was used to assess the quality of water from the two basins for irrigation activities. The SAR values for all the months and years sampled are lower than 4 and the electrical conductivity values are equally low due to generally low ionic concentrations. When plotted on the Wilcox diagram, the data for all the months for the two years of the study, plot within the “excellent to good” category, suggesting that water from the area is of acceptable quality for irrigation activities.

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S. Yidana, P. Sakyi and G. Stamp, "Analysis of the Suitability of Surface Water for Irrigation Purposes: The Southwestern and Coastal River Systems in Ghana," Journal of Water Resource and Protection, Vol. 3 No. 10, 2011, pp. 695-710. doi: 10.4236/jwarp.2011.310080.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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