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Table 1

Evolution of Ghana's water sector

YearKey sector event
1903a The Rivers Ordinance (Cap 226 of 1903) was passed to regulate the use of surface water resources 
1927a Forestry Ordinance of 1927 contained sections for catchment protection and control of water withdrawal in forest reserves 
1948b The Department of Rural Water Development was established to provide potable water to rural communities 
1953a Land Planning and Soil Conservation Ordinance of 1953 was passed to, among others, to check soil erosion and control watercourses 
1958b Department of Water Supplies Division formed under the Ministry of Works and Housing for urban and rural water 
1965 Ghana Water and Sewerage Corporation (GWSC) established by Act of Parliament (Act 310 of 1965) for urban water supply and wastewater treatment 
1992 1992 Constitution of Ghana vested control of all water resources in Ghana in the President on behalf of, and in trust for the people of Ghana 
1993c National Community Water and Sanitation Programme (NCWSP) was formed to increase drinking water coverage in rural areas and small towns 
1994 Community Water and Sanitation Department created within GWSC to provide potable water and sanitation for rural communities 
1994 EPA established by Act 490 of 1994 to set effluent standards for discharges into waterbodies 
1996 The Water Resources Commission (WRC) established by an Act of Parliament (Act 522 of 1996) to be responsible for overall regulation and management of water resources utilization 
1997 The PURC established to regulate tariffs and quality standards for the operation of public utilities including water 
1998 CWSA was established by Act 564 of 1998 to replace CWSD and to be responsible for management of rural and small water supply systems, hygiene education and provision of sanitary facilities 
1999 GWSC was converted to a state-owned limited liability company, GWCL under Act 461 
2001 L.I. 1692 Water Use Regulations passed by the WRC to regulate water use 
2004 Processes for the formulation of a consolidated national water policy was initiated 
2006 Management of GWCL operations contracted to Aqua Vitens Rand Limited (AVRL) for 5 years to improve performance 
2007d Convention on the status of the Volta River and the establishment of the Volta Basin Authority (VBA) signed by all six riparian countries. The VBA is to manage the water resources and other related resource in the Volta Basin in a holistic manner 
2007 National water policy was launched to provide an effective interface among key stakeholders, integrate and harmonize their activities 
2007 CWSA launches the Strategic Investment Plan, 2008–2015 and The Medium-Term Plan, 2008–2012 for the rural water supply sector 
2010e The Ghana Compact on Sanitation and Water for ALL: A Global Framework for Action (SWA) was launched by the Government of Ghana. This was to assert the Government's resolve to improve efforts towards improving sanitation and sustaining gains in water delivery. The Government resolved to allocate US$350 million annually to sanitation and water 
2011 Management contract abrogated and urban water supply was managed by GWCL and Ghana Urban Water Limited (GUWL) 
2011 Launch of Riparian buffer zone policy for managing freshwater bodies in Ghana to ensure sustainable management of buffer zones along freshwater bodies 
2012f National IWRM launched by the WRC to, among others, ‘guide and urge the different stakeholders involved in water resources management at different levels to incorporate IWRM in their plans’ 
2013g Ghana National Climate Change policy was launched with the vision to ‘ensure a climate-resilient and climate-compatible economy while achieving sustainable development through equitable low-carbon economic growth for Ghana’ 
2013 GWCL and GUWL merged into a single national utility company to manage urban water supply services 
YearKey sector event
1903a The Rivers Ordinance (Cap 226 of 1903) was passed to regulate the use of surface water resources 
1927a Forestry Ordinance of 1927 contained sections for catchment protection and control of water withdrawal in forest reserves 
1948b The Department of Rural Water Development was established to provide potable water to rural communities 
1953a Land Planning and Soil Conservation Ordinance of 1953 was passed to, among others, to check soil erosion and control watercourses 
1958b Department of Water Supplies Division formed under the Ministry of Works and Housing for urban and rural water 
1965 Ghana Water and Sewerage Corporation (GWSC) established by Act of Parliament (Act 310 of 1965) for urban water supply and wastewater treatment 
1992 1992 Constitution of Ghana vested control of all water resources in Ghana in the President on behalf of, and in trust for the people of Ghana 
1993c National Community Water and Sanitation Programme (NCWSP) was formed to increase drinking water coverage in rural areas and small towns 
1994 Community Water and Sanitation Department created within GWSC to provide potable water and sanitation for rural communities 
1994 EPA established by Act 490 of 1994 to set effluent standards for discharges into waterbodies 
1996 The Water Resources Commission (WRC) established by an Act of Parliament (Act 522 of 1996) to be responsible for overall regulation and management of water resources utilization 
1997 The PURC established to regulate tariffs and quality standards for the operation of public utilities including water 
1998 CWSA was established by Act 564 of 1998 to replace CWSD and to be responsible for management of rural and small water supply systems, hygiene education and provision of sanitary facilities 
1999 GWSC was converted to a state-owned limited liability company, GWCL under Act 461 
2001 L.I. 1692 Water Use Regulations passed by the WRC to regulate water use 
2004 Processes for the formulation of a consolidated national water policy was initiated 
2006 Management of GWCL operations contracted to Aqua Vitens Rand Limited (AVRL) for 5 years to improve performance 
2007d Convention on the status of the Volta River and the establishment of the Volta Basin Authority (VBA) signed by all six riparian countries. The VBA is to manage the water resources and other related resource in the Volta Basin in a holistic manner 
2007 National water policy was launched to provide an effective interface among key stakeholders, integrate and harmonize their activities 
2007 CWSA launches the Strategic Investment Plan, 2008–2015 and The Medium-Term Plan, 2008–2012 for the rural water supply sector 
2010e The Ghana Compact on Sanitation and Water for ALL: A Global Framework for Action (SWA) was launched by the Government of Ghana. This was to assert the Government's resolve to improve efforts towards improving sanitation and sustaining gains in water delivery. The Government resolved to allocate US$350 million annually to sanitation and water 
2011 Management contract abrogated and urban water supply was managed by GWCL and Ghana Urban Water Limited (GUWL) 
2011 Launch of Riparian buffer zone policy for managing freshwater bodies in Ghana to ensure sustainable management of buffer zones along freshwater bodies 
2012f National IWRM launched by the WRC to, among others, ‘guide and urge the different stakeholders involved in water resources management at different levels to incorporate IWRM in their plans’ 
2013g Ghana National Climate Change policy was launched with the vision to ‘ensure a climate-resilient and climate-compatible economy while achieving sustainable development through equitable low-carbon economic growth for Ghana’ 
2013 GWCL and GUWL merged into a single national utility company to manage urban water supply services 

aOdame-Ababio (2003).

bAdombire (2007).

cFuest et al. (2005).

dWelling et al. (2012).

eGovernment of Ghana (2010).

fWater Resources Commission (2012).

gMinistry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (2013).

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