The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) is spearheading a four-year partnership project, which seeks to apply water-smart solutions such as recycling to recover resources from waste water for reuse.
To achieve this objective and ensure sustainability, the Council on Friday engaged key stakeholders at a workshop in Accra, to provide them with information on the project so they could contribute ideas, policies and strategies towards achieving a successful outcome.
The participants were from key institutions, including the Energy Commission, Ghana Standards Authority, Food and Drugs Authority, farmer associations, and the CSIR.
Dr Wilhelmina Quaye, the Director, CSIR–Science and Technology Policy Research Institute (STEPRI), welcoming participants, said the use of untreated streams by urban vegetable and other small-scale farmers posed a great health threat to consumers, as the unwholesome water contained harmful pathogens and this had various health implications.
She said effective collaboration with stakeholders was, therefore, crucial to the success of the project.
The country’s progress towards achieving the water-related UN Sustainable Development Goals was being challenged by barriers, including water scarcity, population growth, and pollution of those resources, she said.
Dr Quaye said in spite of the urgent need to secure natural resources, the implementation of water-smart solutions was limited due to the technological, organisational, regulatory, social and economic barriers.
The project would facilitate industrial cooperation as a means of increasing resource efficiency, limit carbon emissions, and develop sustainable businesses based on water-smart solutions.
Titled “Achieving Wider Uptake of Water-Smart Solutions,” the project is being funded by the European Union Commission under its Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme.
It is currently being implemented by a consortium of 18 organisations across Europe and in Ghana, and coordinated by SINTEF of Norway from 2020 to 2023.
Dr Quaye said the project was built around a set of innovative circular economic solutions co-developed by water utilities and private businesses from industry sectors with high water consumption, high use of material resources and energy such as the agriculture industry, the building and manufacturing material industry and energy supply.
She encouraged the participants to help in the co-development of a roadmap towards the achievement of the project objectives.
Dr Gordon Akon-Yamga, a Research Scientist with the CSIR-STEPRI, said in Ghana, the CSIR was represented by STEPRI, the Water Research Institute, and the Institute of Industrial Research, which were the project partners collaborating with the Sewerage Systems Ghana Limited,.
He said among the innovative solutions for waste water reuse, nutrient recycling and energy recovery, the Sewerage Systems Ghana Limited had signed a public-private partnership management contract with the Ministry of Local Government to operate the Mudor waste treatment plant in Accra.
Dr Ebenezer Ansa, the Principal Research Scientist and Director of CSIR Animal Research Institute, assured stakeholders of the Council’s constant monitoring and control of the quality of those biomass products to ensure the health and safety of the citizenry.