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CWSA launches water safety framework | 28th August, 2017

Safe water under the National Community Water and Sanitation concept is described as water which meets the standards prescribed by the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) for domestic use.
It is understood that based on available clinical knowledge on health impact related to water quality parameter currently identified under the GSA standards, provision is made for permissible limits that ensures public health safety.
Under the NCWSP, a high proportion of communities are supplied from groundwater sources, accounting for more than 95% extraction through boreholes and hand dug wells fitted with hand pumps or mechanized piped system. This preference results from the availability of groundwater compared with the other sources and high cost implications associated with purification of surface water resources.
Large water schemes based on surface water sources require slow sand and rapid sand filtration systems. Choices of purification mechanisms are based often on the quality of the sources and cost.
Although groundwater extraction is often preferred for community water supplies, the occurrence of high levels of minerals, including metallic compounds has been identified as an emerging challenge limiting the extent of which this resource can be utilized.  
Drilling records have revealed that on the average, 30% of wells drilled for domestic water supply in Ghana contain manganese, iron, arsenic, fluoride, hardness, low and high pH and some other parameter outside the GSA permissible limits. About 40% of drilled wells with these water quality challenges risk being abandoned by user communities.
One of the measures taken by the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA) to ensure that the water safety objective of the NCWSP is achieved is to develop a WSF, which provides broad guidelines on issues related to the provision of the safe water, and monitoring within the CWS sub-sector in accordance with water safety targets set by the GSA for domestic water supply.
Objectives of the water safety frame work are as follows;
•    Establish target for physico-chemical and microbial quality of water supply.
•    Establish the modalities for water quality testing, monitoring and assessment needed to ensure the safety of drinking water supply.
•    Develop public health protection mechanism through water system monitoring, risk assessment and management, surveillance, health and hygiene education and promotion.
•    Determine the level of investment required for ensuring water safety.
Emmanuel Frimpong/ Ghanadistricts.com

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