The aim of this research project is to deploy sustainable and innovative technologies and services. On the one hand, this requires the research and collection of a large number of data, such as hydrological and meteorological data or historical data on floods and drought. Another important aspect is the selection of pilot areas. This will be discussed intensively with the German and Ghanaian project partners on the basis of already identified criteria, with the participation of political and administrative actors. A peri-urban pilot area affected by drought and flooding will be studied. After that, flood and drought forecasting models and water balance models for the pilot areas are created, which focus on the prevention of natural disasters (floods, droughts), on the management of the water cycle and on the treatment and supply of water for various purposes. These models contribute to a so-called end-to-end solution, that includes a web-based application and an integrated water management strategy.
The next step focuses on the design and implementation of innovative and sustainable technologies in the form of pilot plants. These plants are devised for water treatment and use in peri-urban areas as well as for the development of an irrigation system using local materials.
A multi-stage pilot plant combination will be built and operated. In the pilot area of Kumasi, irrigation water is withdrawn from surface water such as streams and rivers. As sewage systems do not exist in Ghana, it can be assumed that the surface water is contaminated by effluents. Thus, surface water will be investigated in the process combination outlined in the above shown figure. The target of this pilot plant is to develop a water treatment process which enables the reuse of surface water in peri-urban areas as irrigation water for agriculture and for use as grey water (e.g. for flushing toilets or industrial process water). Moreover, the treatment plant should be simple and cost-effective in order to achieve the widest possible implementation and acceptance.
As part of the pilot plant, the collected surface water will be disinfected by UV radiation. After this treatment, several effective and water-saving irrigation methods, such as droplet irrigation or dripping pipes-irrigation need to be tested so that the suitability in pilot tests can be validated.
A very important part of the RAIN-project is the education and behavioural training for the local population in order to raise the level of information, awareness and acceptance among the population in the immediate vicinity of the pilot areas to the highest possible level.
In order to make the benefits of the end-to-end early warning systems for floods and droughts developed within the project as efficient as possible and to prevent flood damage, discussions with stakeholders and community leaders will be conducted to promote the acceptance of the technological solution and possible mitigation measures.
Furthermore, during the implementation of the pilot plants in Ghana (sustainable technologies, WP2) , workshop and training programmes will be carried out to prepare local stakeholders in the two pilot areas for the consequences of climate change. In a continuing training programme, which is planned and implemented by local partners in close cooperation with German partners, the local population will be familiarised with the use of the irrigation system in order to ensure a sustainable and permanent operation of the system.
In this work package the tasks of public relations and the quality assurance tasks of distributing the recommendations and guidelines are summarized.
On the one hand a public concept is to be developed in order to disseminate information about the project but also warn directly concerned persons in flood-prone areas. To achieve this goal several different products must be created, such as an internet presence or technical reports.
In order to facilitate future up-scaling of the pilot plants comprehensive recommendations and guidelines are developed with Ghanaian groups of interests. This way it is ensured that full-scale implementation is achieved. In addition to that, the RAIN project contributes to some essential topics of the competence profile of the Pan-African Institute for Water and Energy (PAUWES) and WASCAL by providing e.g. audio-visual contributions that can be used in teaching or materials for the implementation of internships at the pilot plants within the framework of the study courses.