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[[Africa Groundwater Atlas Home | Africa Groundwater Atlas]] >> [[Hydrogeology by country | Hydrogeology by country]] >> Hydrogeology of Ghana
 
[[Africa Groundwater Atlas Home | Africa Groundwater Atlas]] >> [[Hydrogeology by country | Hydrogeology by country]] >> Hydrogeology of Ghana
  
[[File:CC-BY-SA_logo_88x31.png | frame | This work is licensed under a [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License]]]
 
  
Farmers are known to be living in the area of present day Ghana were farmers by the 5th century BC, and by the 9th century AD the then Ghana Empire was a major power, and included parts of modern Senegal, Mauritania and Mali. After the 10th century, the empire came under Almovarid rule, and was later incorporated into Sahelian empires such as the Mali Empire. From the 16th century much of the area was brought under the governance of the Ashanti Empire. Many European powers contested the area for trading rights from the 15th century, and modern-day Ghana fell under British colonial rule from the late 19th century. After Ghana gained independence in 1957, the country saw a series of alternating military and civilian governments, and was often affected by economic instability. Since 1992, when multi-party system politics was restored, Ghana has enjoyed relative political stability, and has seen growing economic prosperity.  
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After Ghana it gained independence from British colonialism in 1957, the country saw a series of alternating military and civilian governments, and was often affected by economic instability. Since 1992, when multi-party system politics was restored, Ghana has enjoyed relative political stability, and has seen growing economic prosperity.  
  
Ghana is a middle income country, with services accounting for around half of GDP, followed by manufacturing, extractive industries (including oil, discovered offshore in 2007; and gold, diamonds and a wide range of precious and industrial minerals). Agriculture is also important, particularly cocoa, of which Ghana is one of the world’s largest producers.
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Ghana is now classed as a middle income country, with services accounting for around half of GDP, followed by manufacturing, extractive industries (including oil, discovered offshore in 2007; and gold, diamonds and a wide range of precious and industrial minerals). Agriculture is also important, particularly cocoa, of which Ghana is one of the world’s largest producers.
  
 
Ghana has major surface water resources in Lake Volta and its tributary rivers, but away from these groundwater is a key resource, particularly in dry seasons and in the drier north. Overall some 40% of households depend on groundwater, and this rises to 60% in rural areas. In the drier north, urban areas also depend primarily on groundwater. Rural areas, particularly in the north of the country, still lag behind in water supply infrastructure.  
 
Ghana has major surface water resources in Lake Volta and its tributary rivers, but away from these groundwater is a key resource, particularly in dry seasons and in the drier north. Overall some 40% of households depend on groundwater, and this rises to 60% in rural areas. In the drier north, urban areas also depend primarily on groundwater. Rural areas, particularly in the north of the country, still lag behind in water supply infrastructure.  
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{| class = "wikitable"
 
{| class = "wikitable"
 
|-
 
|-
|Capital city || Accra
+
|Estimated Population in 2013* || 25,904,598
 
|-
 
|-
|Region || West Africa
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|Rural Population (% of total)* || 47%
 
|-
 
|-
|Border countries || Cote d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Togo
+
|Total Surface Area* || 227,540 sq km
 
|-
 
|-
|Total surface area* || 238,540 km<sup>2</sup>  (23,854,000 ha)
+
|Agricultural Land (% of total area)* || 69%
 
|-
 
|-
|Total population (2015)* || 27,410,000
+
|Capital City || Accra
 
|-
 
|-
|Rural population (2015)* || 12,827,000 (47%)
+
|Region || West Africa
 
|-
 
|-
|Urban population (2015)* || 14,583,000 (53%)
+
|Border Countries || Cote d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Togo
 
|-
 
|-
|UN Human Development Index (HDI) [highest = 1] (2014)*|| 0.5791
+
|Annual Freshwater Withdrawal (2013)* || 982 Million cubic metres
 +
|-
 +
|Annual Freshwater Withdrawal for Agriculture* || 66%
 +
|-
 +
|Annual Freshwater Withdrawal for Domestic Use* || 24%
 +
|-
 +
|Annual Freshwater Withdrawal for Industry* || 10%
 +
|-
 +
|Rural Population with Access to Improved Water Source* || 81%
 +
|-
 +
|Urban Population with Access to Improved Water Source* || 93%
 
|}
 
|}
<nowiki>*</nowiki> Source: [http://www.fao.org/nr/water/aquastat/data/query/index.html?lang=en FAO Aquastat]
+
 
 +
<nowiki>*</nowiki> Source: World Bank
 +
 
  
 
===Climate===
 
===Climate===
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| [[File:Ghana_LandCover.png | frame | Land Cover Map of Ghana,, from the European Space Agency GlobCover 2.3, 2009. For more information on the map see the [[Land cover | land cover resource page]]]]
 
| [[File:Ghana_LandCover.png | frame | Land Cover Map of Ghana,, from the European Space Agency GlobCover 2.3, 2009. For more information on the map see the [[Land cover | land cover resource page]]]]
 
|}
 
|}
 
 
===Water statistics===
 
 
{| class = "wikitable"
 
| || 2000 ||2010||2013||2014||2015
 
|-
 
|Rural population with access to safe drinking water (%) || || ||  || || 84
 
|-
 
|Urban population with access to safe drinking water (%) || || ||  || || 92.6
 
|-
 
|Population affected by water related disease || No data || No data || No data || No data || No data
 
|-
 
|Total internal renewable water resources (cubic metres/inhabitant/year) || || ||  || 1105||
 
|-
 
|Total exploitable water resources (Million cubic metres/year) || No data || No data || No data || No data || No data
 
|-
 
|Freshwater withdrawal as % of total renewable water resources ||1.747 || || || ||
 
|-
 
|Total renewable groundwater (Million cubic metres/year) ||  || || ||26,300 ||
 
|-
 
|Exploitable: Regular renewable groundwater (Million cubic metres/year) || No data || No data || No data || No data || No data
 
|-
 
|Groundwater produced internally (Million cubic metres/year) || || ||  ||26,300 ||
 
|-
 
|Fresh groundwater withdrawal (primary and secondary) (Million cubic metres/year) || No data || No data || No data || No data || No data
 
|-
 
|Groundwater: entering the country (total) (Million cubic metres/year) || || ||  || ||
 
|-
 
|Groundwater: leaving the country to other countries (total) (Million cubic metres/year) || || ||  || ||
 
|-
 
|Industrial water withdrawal (all water sources) (Million cubic metres/year) ||950 || || || ||
 
|-
 
| Municipal water withdrawal (all water sources) (Million cubic metres/year)  || || ||251 || ||
 
|-
 
|Agricultural water withdrawal (all water sources) (Million cubic metres/year) ||652 || || || ||
 
|-
 
|Irrigation water withdrawal (all water sources) (Million cubic metres/year) || No data || No data || No data || No data || No data
 
|-
 
|Irrigation water requirement (all water sources) (Million cubic metres/year) || || 162||  || ||
 
|-
 
|Area of permanent crops (ha) || || ||  ||2,700,000 ||
 
|-
 
|Cultivated land (arable and permanent crops) (ha) || || ||  ||7,400,000 ||
 
|-
 
|Total area of country cultivated (%) || || ||  || 31.02||
 
|-
 
|Area equipped for irrigation by groundwater (ha) || No data || No data || No data || No data || No data
 
|-
 
|Area equipped for irrigation by mixed surface water and groundwater (ha) || No data || No data || No data || No data || No data
 
|}
 
 
Source and more statistics at: [http://www.fao.org/nr/water/aquastat/data/query/index.html?lang=en FAO Aquastat].
 
  
 
==Geology==
 
==Geology==
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The geology map on this page shows a simplified version of the geology at a national scale (see the [[Geology | geology resource page]] for more details).   
 
The geology map on this page shows a simplified version of the geology at a national scale (see the [[Geology | geology resource page]] for more details).   
 
[https://www.bgs.ac.uk/africagroundwateratlas/downloadGIS.html '''Download a GIS shapefile of the Ghana geology and hydrogeology map'''].
 
  
 
Other, larger scale, geological maps are available in printed format: see the Key Geology References section below for more details.
 
Other, larger scale, geological maps are available in printed format: see the Key Geology References section below for more details.
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[[ File:Ghana_Geology3.png | center | thumb| 400px | Geology of Ghana at 1:5 million scale. Developed from USGS map (Persits et al. 2002). For more information on the map development and datasets see the [[Geology | geology resource page]]. [https://www.bgs.ac.uk/africagroundwateratlas/downloadGIS.html Download a GIS shapefile of the Ghana geology and hydrogeology map].]]
+
[[ File:Ghana_Geology2.png | center | thumb| 500px | Geology of Ghana at 1:5 million scale. Developed from USGS map (Persits et al. 2002). For more information on the map development and datasets see the [[Geology | geology resource page]]]]
 
   
 
   
  
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The hydrogeology map on this page shows a simplified version of the type and productivity of the main aquifers at a national scale (see the [[Hydrogeology Map | hydrogeology map]] resource page for more details).  
 
The hydrogeology map on this page shows a simplified version of the type and productivity of the main aquifers at a national scale (see the [[Hydrogeology Map | hydrogeology map]] resource page for more details).  
 
[https://www.bgs.ac.uk/africagroundwateratlas/downloadGIS.html '''Download a GIS shapefile of the Ghana geology and hydrogeology map'''].
 
  
 
Other hydrogeological maps at different scales and in different formats have been produced; some are listed in the key hydrogeology references section below.  
 
Other hydrogeological maps at different scales and in different formats have been produced; some are listed in the key hydrogeology references section below.  
  
  
[[File:Ghana_Hydrogeology3.png | center | thumb| 400px| Hydrogeology of Ghana at 1:5million scale. For more information on how the map was developed see the [[Africa Groundwater Atlas Hydrogeology Maps | hydrogeology map]] resource page. [https://www.bgs.ac.uk/africagroundwateratlas/downloadGIS.html Download a GIS shapefile of the Ghana geology and hydrogeology map].]]
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[[File:Ghana_Hydrogeology2.png | center | thumb| 500px| Hydrogeology of Ghana at 1:5million scale. For more information on how the map was developed see the [[Hydrogeology Map | hydrogeology map]] resource page]]
  
  
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===Groundwater Status===
 
===Groundwater Status===
  
Available data from past studies indicate that groundwater abstracted from boreholes in Ghana is generally of good chemical and microbiological quality and thus suitable for domestic (including drinking), agricultural and industrial uses. However, there are particular problems with the quality of groundwater in certain places. These problems include:  
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Available data from past studies indicate that groundwater abstracted from boreholes in Ghana is generally of good chemical and microbiological quality and thus suitable for domestic (including drinking), agricultural and industrial uses. However, there are particular problems with the quality of groundwater in certain locations. These problems include:  
  
 
* low pH (3.5-6.0) waters, found mostly in the forest zones of southern Ghana;  
 
* low pH (3.5-6.0) waters, found mostly in the forest zones of southern Ghana;  
* high concentrations of iron in many places throughout the country;  
+
* high concentration of iron in many places throughout the country;  
* high natural concentrations of manganese and fluoride, mostly in the north, including the Upper East and Northern regions; and  
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* high natural concentrations of manganese and fluoride, mostly in the north of the country; and  
* high levels of mineralisation, with total dissolved solids (TDS) in the range of 2000 up to more than 14,000 mg/l in some coastal aquifers, largely due to high salt (sodium chloride) from sea water intrusion (Kortatsi 1994).  
+
* high mineralisation with TDS in the range of 2000-14,584 mg/l in some coastal aquifers (Kortatsi 1994).  
  
Many of these groundwater quality problems are natural in origin. A key process is geochemical weathering of the bedrock under particular hydrogeological and hydrochemical conditions, which can lead to high fluoride, iron and manganese, among other elements. Local hydrogeological conditions can also cause naturally low pH levels. Others are caused or worsened by human activity. Sea water intrusion is often related to over-abstraction of groundwater in coastal aquifers. There are also some isolated reports of high groundwater nitrate concentrations, thought to be linked to the increasing use of artificial fertiliser by farmers, although there may also be a link between increased nitrate concentrations and local contamination by
+
These problems are generally attributed to geochemical weathering of the bedrock, anthropogenic activities, and to sea water intrusion in the case of high concentration of sodium chloride in coastal aquifers. There are also some isolated instances of high nitrate concentrations, thought to be linked to the increasing use of artificial fertiliser by farmers, although there may also be a link between increased nitrate concentrations and local contamination by
 
human and/or animal waste.
 
human and/or animal waste.
  
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==References==
 
==References==
  
Many of the references below, and others relating to the hydrogeology of Ghana, can be found in the [https://www.bgs.ac.uk/africaGroundwaterAtlas/atlas.cfc?method=listResults&title_search=&author_search=&category_search=&country_search=GH&placeboolean=AND&singlecountry=1 Africa Groundwater Literature Archive].
+
Many of the references below, and others relating to the hydrogeology of Ghana, can be found in the [http://www.bgs.ac.uk/africagroundwateratlas/searchResults.cfm?title_search=&author_search=&category_search=&country_search=GH&placeboolean=AND&singlecountry=1 Africa Groundwater Literature Archive].
  
 
===Key Geology References===
 
===Key Geology References===
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===Key Hydrogeology References===
 
===Key Hydrogeology References===
  
Agyekum WA and Dapaah-Siakwan S. 2008. The Occurrence of Groundwater in Northeastern Ghana. In: Adelana and MacDonald (eds), Applied Groundwater Studies in Africa: IAH Selected Papers on Hydrogeology 13.
+
Adelana SMA and MacDonald AM (Eds). 2008. Applied Groundwater Studies in AfricaIAH Selected Papers.  British Geological Survey, Wallingford, UK.  CRS Press, Taylor and Francis Press.  
  
Awuni JA and Akuriba MA. 2013. [http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02508060.2013.819454 Small pumps and the poor: a field survey in the Upper East Region of Ghana]. Water International, 38:4, 449-464, DOI: 10.1080/02508060.2013.819454
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Barry B, Kortatsi B, Forkuor G, Gumma M, Namara RE, Rebelo LM, vandenBerg J and Laube W. 2010. [http://www.bgs.ac.uk/africagroundwateratlas/fulldetails.cfm?id=AGLA600028 Shallow groundwater in the Atankwidi Catchment of the White Volta Basin: current status and future sustainability]. International Water Management Institute.  
 
 
Barry B, Kortatsi B, Forkuor G, Gumma M, Namara RE, Rebelo LM, vandenBerg J and Laube W. 2010. [https://www.bgs.ac.uk/africaGroundwaterAtlas/atlas.cfc?method=ViewDetails&id=AGLA600028 Shallow groundwater in the Atankwidi Catchment of the White Volta Basin: current status and future sustainability]. International Water Management Institute.  
 
  
 
British Geological Survey/WaterAid. [http://www.wateraid.org/~/media/Publications/groundwater-quality-information-ghana.pdf Groundwater Quality: Ghana]. Leaflet
 
British Geological Survey/WaterAid. [http://www.wateraid.org/~/media/Publications/groundwater-quality-information-ghana.pdf Groundwater Quality: Ghana]. Leaflet
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CSIR-Water Research Institute. 1996.  Hydrogeological Map of Ghana on Regional Basis.
 
CSIR-Water Research Institute. 1996.  Hydrogeological Map of Ghana on Regional Basis.
  
Dapaah-Siakwan S and Gyau-Boakye P. 2000.  Hydrogeologic Framework and borehole yields in Ghana.  Hydrogeology Journal 8, pp 405-416
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Dapaah-Siakwan S and Gyau-Boakye P. 2000.  Hydrogeologic Framework and borehole yields in Ghana.  Hydrogeology Journal (2000), Vol. 8, pp 405-416
 
 
Evans AEV, Giordano M, Clayton T (Eds.). 2012. [https://ageconsearch.umn.edu/bitstream/137100/2/127.pdf  Investing in agricultural water management to benefit smallholder farmers in Ghana]. AgWater Solutions Project country
 
synthesis report. Colombo, Sri Lanka: International Water Management Institute (IWMI) 37p.
 
(IWMI Working Paper 147). Doi: 10.5337/2012.209
 
 
 
Forkuor G, Pavelic P, Asare E and Obuobie E. 2013. [http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02626667.2012.754101 Modelling potential areas of groundwater development for agriculture in northern Ghana using GIS/RS]. Hydrological
 
Sciences Journal, 58:2, 437-451, DOI: 10.1080/02626667.2012.754101
 
  
 
Gill HE. 1969. A Groundwater Reconnaissance of the Republic of Ghana, with a Description of Geohydrologic Provinces, Geological Survey Water Supply Paper 1757-K, Washington, U.S.A
 
Gill HE. 1969. A Groundwater Reconnaissance of the Republic of Ghana, with a Description of Geohydrologic Provinces, Geological Survey Water Supply Paper 1757-K, Washington, U.S.A
  
 
Gyau-Boakye P and Dapaah-Siakwan S. 2000. Groundwater as Source of Rural Water Supply in Ghana, Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Vol. 5, Nos. 1 & 2, pp 77-86, 2000.
 
Gyau-Boakye P and Dapaah-Siakwan S. 2000. Groundwater as Source of Rural Water Supply in Ghana, Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Vol. 5, Nos. 1 & 2, pp 77-86, 2000.
 
Gyau-Boakye P, Kankam-Yeboah K, Darko PK, Dapaah-Siakwan S, and Duah AA. 2008. Groundwater as a Vital Resource for Rural Development: An Example from Ghana. In: Adelana and MacDonald (eds), Applied Groundwater Studies in Africa: IAH Selected Papers on Hydrogeology 13.
 
 
Gumma MK and Pavelic P. 2013. [https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10661-012-2810-y  Mapping of groundwater potential zones across Ghana using remote sensing, geographic information systems, and spatial modelling]. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 185(4), 3561-3579.
 
  
 
HAP (Hydrological Assessment Project of Northern Ghana). 2006. Hydrological assessment of the Northern Regions of Ghana: A bibliographical review of selected papers. CIDA, WRC, SNC-LAVALIN International.
 
HAP (Hydrological Assessment Project of Northern Ghana). 2006. Hydrological assessment of the Northern Regions of Ghana: A bibliographical review of selected papers. CIDA, WRC, SNC-LAVALIN International.
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Martin N. 2006. [http://www.zef.de/fileadmin/template/Glowa/Downloads/thesis_martin.pdf Development of a water balance for the Atankwidi catchment, West Africa – a case study of groundwater recharge in a semi-arid climate]. Cuvillier Verlag Gottingen, Ecology and Development Series, No. 41, 168 pp.
 
Martin N. 2006. [http://www.zef.de/fileadmin/template/Glowa/Downloads/thesis_martin.pdf Development of a water balance for the Atankwidi catchment, West Africa – a case study of groundwater recharge in a semi-arid climate]. Cuvillier Verlag Gottingen, Ecology and Development Series, No. 41, 168 pp.
  
Namara RE, Awuni JA, Barry B, Giordano M, Hope L, Owusu ES and Forkuor G. 2011. [https://cgspace.cgiar.org/handle/10568/16763 Smallholder shallow groundwater irrigation development in the upper east region of Ghana]. Vol. 143. IWMI.
+
Obubie E and Barry B. 2012. Ghana. In P Pavelic, M Giordano, B Keraita, T Rao, and V Ramesh (Eds.), [http://www.bgs.ac.uk/africagroundwateratlas/fulldetails.cfm?id=AGLA600020 Groundwater availability and use in Sub-Saharan Africa: a review of 15 countries]; Ch. 4, pp.43-64. Colombo, Sri Lanka: International Water Management Institute (IWMI), doi: 10.5337/2012.213
 
 
Namara RE. 2012. [https://agriknowledge.org/downloads/jh343s338 Agricultural use of shallow groundwater in Ghana: A promising smallholders’ livelihood strategy]y. AgWater Solutions Project Case Study. IWMI
 
 
 
Namara RE, Hope L, Sarpong EO, De Fraiture C and Owusu D. 2013. [https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378377413002321 Adoption patterns and constraints pertaining to small-scale water lifting technologies in Ghana]. Agricultural Water Management, 131, 194-203.
 
 
 
Obuobie E and Barry B. 2010. [http://gw-africa.iwmi.org/Data/Sites/24/media/pdf/2008_agr_305_year_2_progress_report-narrative-final.pdf  Groundwater in sub-Saharan Africa: Implications for food security and livelihoods. Ghana Country Status on Groundwater]. Final report.
 
 
 
Obubie E and Barry B. 2012. Ghana. Chapter in P Pavelic, M Giordano, B Keraita, T Rao, and V Ramesh (Eds.), [https://www.bgs.ac.uk/africaGroundwaterAtlas/atlas.cfc?method=ViewDetails&id=AGLA600020 Groundwater availability and use in Sub-Saharan Africa: a review of 15 countries]; Ch. 4, pp.43-64. Colombo, Sri Lanka: International Water Management Institute (IWMI), doi: 10.5337/2012.213
 
 
 
Obuobie E, Ofori D, Kwaku Agodzo S and Okrah C. 2013. [http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02508060.2013.814212 Groundwater potential for dry-season irrigation in north-eastern Ghana]. Water International, 38:4, 433-448, DOI: 10.1080/02508060.2013.814212
 
 
 
Ó Dochartaigh BÉ, Davies J, Beamish D and MacDonald AM. 2011. [https://www.bgs.ac.uk/africaGroundwaterAtlas/atlas.cfc?method=ViewDetails&id=AGLA000028 UNICEF IWASH Project, Northern Region, Ghana: An Adapted Training Manual for Groundwater Development]. British Geological Survey Report OR/11/047.
 
  
Regassa E, Namara LH, Owusu Sarpong E, De Fraiture C and Owusu D. 2012. [https://www.agriknowledge.org/downloads/c821gj80x Adoption of water lifting technologies for agricultural production in Ghana: implications for investments in smallholder irrigation system]. AgWater Solutions Project Case Study IWMI Ghana September 2012
+
Ó Dochartaigh BÉ, Davies J, Beamish D and MacDonald AM. 2011. [http://www.bgs.ac.uk/africagroundwateratlas/fulldetails.cfm?id=AGLA000028 UNICEF IWASH Project, Northern Region, Ghana: An Adapted Training Manual for Groundwater Development]. British Geological Survey Report OR/11/047.
  
 
Survey Department of Ghana. 1967. Hydrogeological Map of Ghana. An older version of this can be viewed online at [http://www.bgr.de/app/fishy/whymis/index.php?&type=country&id=GHA WHYMAP]
 
Survey Department of Ghana. 1967. Hydrogeological Map of Ghana. An older version of this can be viewed online at [http://www.bgr.de/app/fishy/whymis/index.php?&type=country&id=GHA WHYMAP]
  
 
Water Resources Commission. 2013. [http://www.wrc-gh.org/projects-and-programmes/hap-projects/ Hydrogeological Assessment of the Northern Region of Ghana Project (HAP)]. Webpage, Water Resources Commission, Ghana.
 
Water Resources Commission. 2013. [http://www.wrc-gh.org/projects-and-programmes/hap-projects/ Hydrogeological Assessment of the Northern Region of Ghana Project (HAP)]. Webpage, Water Resources Commission, Ghana.
 
 
Return to the index pages:
 
[[Overview of Africa Groundwater Atlas | Africa Groundwater Atlas]] >> [[Hydrogeology by country | Hydrogeology by country]]
 
 
  
  

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