Assessment of Basinwide Adaptation Strategies

Table 9.6 shows the impact matrix for the different adaptation scenarios. If the wetland loss is acceptable, the food adaptation strategy seems relatively optimal. Remarkable also is the fact that even under increased runoff, it is not wise to rely totally on hydropower because there will still be regular periods where the water level is too low (Anonymous, 1992).

The interviews with experts at the national level, as well as recent literature, underlined the high priority for the electric power sector in Ghana. It is likely that this sector will develop various projects (hydropower, thermal plants, West African Gas Pipeline) in order to reduce the regular power shortages in the country. Supplying the population with sufficient electricity is at the top of the political agenda.

Decision makers in various Ghanaian institutions agreed that competing water use between hydropower and irrigated agriculture should be avoided. If irrigated agriculture is to be expanded, this should be in places where there is no competition between agricultural and hydropower use, as in the area below the Akosombo Dam. On the other hand, riparian countries also aim at expanding irrigated agriculture and developing hydropower. Burkina Faso, for example, is planning a hydropower dam for the supply of Ouagadougou. Togo and Ghana had an exchange agreement on electricity. Its basis is importing energy from Ghana in the rainy season and exporting it to Togo in the dry season. Togo furthermore exported energy to Ghana during peak times in daily power consumption. Togo has recently developed its own thermal plants and no longer depends on Ghana for power production. Close cooperation is needed for the riparian countries in the Volta Basin to prepare for further adaptation to climate change and climate variability.

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