Rainwater Harvesting Provides Clean Water Access in Ghana

Researchers from SINTEF, Scandinavia’s largest independent research group, are using rainwater harvesting to provide sustainable access to clean water in Ghana. While the country has both surface water and groundwater resources, infrastructure for treating and distributing that water is underdeveloped. The country faces many infrastructure challenges, including climate change, and while total rainfall in Ghana is high, the country also experiences extended dry periods.

Focusing on the country’s growing middle class, researchers at SINTEF have initiated pilot projects in 20 households within the capital Accra. They are using rainwater harvesting to collect, store, and purify stormwater collected from rooftops. This practice also helps to manage flooding during the rainy season. The systems include three configurations. The first is a simple collection and storage setup that requires additional treatment before drinking. With the addition of a pump, distribution unit, and filtration unit, the second system is more advanced but must still be chlorinated before drinking. The most advanced system integrates ultraviolet disinfection and a filter. Read more.

In this image by SINTEF, local workers are trained to instal and operate rainwater harvesting systems.

In this image by SINTEF, local workers are trained to instal and operate rainwater harvesting systems.

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One Response to “Rainwater Harvesting Provides Clean Water Access in Ghana”

  1. Michael Sevener
    April 2, 2015 at 11:53 am #

    I have built my own system here in the US and we do about half of our laundry with rainwater. For drinking water, a simple filtration/disinfection system can be achieved implementing ceramic filters such as those extensively researched and promoted by http://pottersforpeace.org/

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