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Household Water Security and Water Demand in the Volta Basin of Ghana

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Yaw Osei-Asare

As water insecurity can threaten the livelihoods of households and economic sectors, especially irrigated agriculture and hydroelectric power generation, this study investigates water security conditions and water demand behaviour in the Ghanaian part of the Volta basin in West Africa. The book examines the extent of household water accessibility, identifies key factors that influence a household’s choice for improved water sources, and models household water demand in rural Ghana. A common sampling frame is developed using Principal Component and Cluster Analyses to select observation units for household data collection. The study finds low per capita water consumption and difficult water accessibility with much reliance on unsafe water sources. With water considered as a heterogeneous good and employing the Linearised Almost Ideal Demand System (LAIDS) model, the empirical results indicate that water for drinking and cooking and water for other indoor purposes such as dish washing, bathing and sanitation are normal necessity goods that play complementary roles in achieving complete household water security. Results from a Heckman two-stage procedure indicate that rural households exhibit different water demand behaviour contingent on household size, income levels, type of good and water price.
Contents: Ghana – Volta Basin – Household Water security – Water demand – Consumer demand modelling – Almost Ideal Demand System (AIDS) model.