The Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) says it has had to reduce water production by 30% in the Central region.

The situation has led to an acute water shortage in the region.

According to the Regional Chief Manager of GWCL, Seth Eric Atiapah, the company was forced to reduce its production capacity due to the severely polluted water, which results from illegal mining activities.

JoyNews’s visit to the Sekyere-Hemang plant revealed that galamsey activities have narrowed the intake canal, muddied the water, and clogged up the sump of the plant, significantly reducing the flow of water to the plant.

Speaking at a dredging exercise at the plant intake to address the acute water shortage, he explained that the level of contamination of the water has significantly increased the cost of production.

“I think this plant was designed with a turbidity level of about 500MNU. Late last week, we received as much as 7500, so you can see that it is almost water that cannot be treated.

“Now we have to use more potent chemicals at very exorbitant prices. I think three to four times more expensive than the conventional alum that we use.

“So these days you will hear of polymer or poly-electrolyte, more potent but very expensive chemicals.”

“If we had not gotten that, probably we wouldn’t even have water because of the nature of the water. We have cut down production by 30% so that we can have time to treat the very poor or bad water we have,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Company’s Head of Communications, Stanley Martey says GWCL cannot remedy the situation unless the galamsey activities are curbed as their treatment plants’ main source of water are the rivers that have been polluted.

“We can not do anything other than treat that raw water and the treatment plant is a conventional treatment plant that is supposed to have water from a river source. It is not from groundwater. It is not a treatment plant to treat groundwater.

“So the solution is for me and you and everybody to fight galamsey and this time around is where we are even fighting it the more,” he added.