The assessment of suspended sediment inputs to Volta Lake
Information on a river basin’s sediment yield is an important requirement for water resources development and management. In the Volta River basin of Ghana, data on suspended sediment yield are limited due to the lack of logistic support for systematic sediment sampling activities. This paper presents the results of a study using the available measurements of suspended sediment transport for eight monitoring stations in order to develop a simple predictive tool for estimating the suspended sediment yields for catchments for which no sediment measurements had been undertaken. Regression analysis was used to establish a relationship between specific suspended sediment yield and both the mean annual run-off and the drainage basin area. The prediction model was used to estimate the sediment loads of the Volta River and its main tributaries (Black Volta, White Volta and Oti Rivers) in order to estimate the total suspended sediment input to the reservoir and the equivalent specific suspended sediment yield from the catchment surface. Although these sediment yield values are relatively low by world standards, the results obtained provide a basis for assessing future sedimentation problems in Lake Volta and for underpinning the development of sediment control and management strategies for the reservoir.