ALTERNATIVE APPROACH TO INVESTIGATING THE EFFECT OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON FRESHWATER AVAILABILITY IN GHANA

Isaac Asare Bediako, Xicang Zhao, Henry Asante Antwi, Benjamin Chris Ampimah

Abstract


The impact of climate on physical and natural systems, at a period of increasing population and high environmental pollution, render freshwater resources particularly vulnerable to climate change.  The aim of this paper is to find out the effect of climate change on freshwater resource availability or supply for domestic, commercial, industrial and agricultural use in Ghana. Instead of the General Circulation Models (GCMs) to assess the impact of climate on freshwater resource availability, we use an alternative approach of statistical method based on correlations of historical climatic variables, time series rainfall, temperature, as well as carbon emissions effect; compared with population and water withdrawal. For a better presentation of the analysis, we combine the transitional and the middle belt into one zone and use 3 instead of 4 climatic zones to compare population growth and water withdrawal in Ghana.  The results of linear hydrologic model results presented in our work predict moderate effect of climate change for the middle belt (forest zone) but a high impact on water availability for the northern and the coastal zones as freshwater faces reduction in the country. However, these coefficients of linear regressions are contemporaneously deflated by our benchmark fifth-order polynomial model but does not affect the statistical significance of the results


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