The Forestry Commission is warning that Ghana may start importing water for domestic consumption in a few decades if the trend of illegal felling of trees continues.

The CEO of the Forestry Commission, Samuel Afari Dartey, fears the country’s forest reserve cover of 1.6m hectares is depleting at an alarming rate despite the application of some 10 million cedis facility to augment reafforestation efforts by the Commission last year.

He made this revelation when appeared before members of Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee Tuesday to respond to queries raised in the 2011 Auditor-Generals report.

Trees play an important part in the water cycle, grounding the water in their roots and releasing it into the atmosphere.

Researcher say, more than half the water in an ecosystem is held within the plants. Without the plants, the climate may become dryer.

A dryer climate will also effect rainfall pattern and eventually impact on sources of drinking water.

The CEO said with the current rate of decline, researchers predict that in 23 years’ time, Ghana’s deteriorating forest cover may force the country to import water to meet its daily requirements.