In Ghana, the Pwalugu Dam in the Upper East is in the final planning stage. Whereas promoters of Ghana's first dams emphasized the need for generating electricity to modernize and industrialize the new nation, the planners of Pwalugu have focused on water issues. Due to climate change, droughts have had a devastating impact on local agriculture. The dam's primary purpose is an irrigation scheme and flood control. This essay historicizes these concerns by revisiting the Akosombo Dam, Ghana's largest hydroelectric dam, completed in 1965. The discussion juxtaposes personal recollections of dam-affected communities with reports by administrators, biologists, and social scientists. The essay draws on government records, scientific studies about Volta Lake, and oral histories. Ultimately, it argues, builders and administrators of the Akosombo Dam failed to address most water issues, despite ample knowledge about their existence. One hopes that these shortcomings will not be repeated in the Pwalugu project.