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Allocating Water Resources for Agricultural and Economic Development in the Volta River Basin

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Patrick Obeng-Asiedu

Freshwater is needed in every aspect of life and is probably the most fundamental resource in sustaining life. It has been and will remain a key determinant of population growth and distribution, social and political organization and the quality of life. The aim of this study is to evaluate the costs and benefits as well as the tradeoffs and complementarities across water using sectors in the Volta River basin, notably Burkina Faso and Ghana. The model used was coded in the modeling language of the General Algebraic Modeling System. The author points out that profits per unit of water and hectare vary by crop and that liberalizing crop patterns could increase farmer profits from crop production. The study shows that increasing irrigated areas through inefficient water use systems in the basin will effectively render un-operational, the small hydropower projects in Burkina Faso and reduce the amount of power that the Akosombo reservoir can generate per month.
Contents: Concepts of river basin modeling – Water users in the Volta river basin – Water institutions in the Volta river basin – Optimal water resource allocation and use – Tradeoffs and electricity trade.