Ghana's Groundwater
The Water and Development Alliance (WADA), a water management program designed by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Coca-Cola, provides communities in Latin America, Middle East, Asia, and Africa with safe water access and sanitation. Since its conception in 2005, WADA has implemented 35 projects. After 10 years, WADA provided 600,000 people with reformed water access and 250,000 people with improved sanitation.

Between 2005 and 2014, WADA reached Uganda, Guatemala, Sierra Leone, El Salvador, and Ghana. WADA engages with these communities with several objectives. First, they establish participatory, sustainable water and watershed resources management to benefit people and ecosystems. Second, they increase access to community water supply and sanitation services. Third, WADA fosters improved behaviors and sanitation hygiene for positive health impacts. Finally, they promote efficient and sustainable productive use for water to protect the environment and provide economic benefits to communities.

WADA’s work in Ghana is a perfect example of the program’s endeavors. Ghana’s groundwater is the primary source of water for small rural towns, and it also has exceptionally high concentrations of fluoride. Fluoride affects calcium’s strength in the human body, a reaction that children are susceptible to. The reaction threatens the development of tooth enamel, resulting in decay, discoloration and severe pitting. The high fluoride content in Ghana’s groundwater is particularly dangerous for children. According to, “seventy percent of all diseases in Ghana are caused by unsafe water and sanitation.” The program directly improved water access for 4,000 families.

WADA also reformed five schools in Ghana’s Sekondi/ Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly. Schools often lack clean water for handwashing and latrines to properly dispose of waste. The program trained more than 40 teachers on hygiene behaviors and latrine facility maintenance. Furthermore, it created school hygiene clubs, installed 40 handwashing stations and 7 latrines. The project serviced approximately 5,400 students with safe water access and sanitation. Since 2007, WADA has serviced 8,000 schoolchildren.

Through the Water and Development Alliance, USAID and Coca-Cola has successfully changed thousands of lives around the world. This organization is a perfect example of how corporations and aid organizations can work together in order to reduce global poverty. Hopefully, other alliances such as this one can continue to improve the state of the world.

Tiffany Santos

Photo: Flickr

During President Trump’s recent visit to Saudi Arabia, he stressed the importance of combating global terrorism and addressing extremism within the country. With a population exceeding 28 million people, Saudi Arabia’s extreme temperatures and the shortage of groundwater have been detrimental toward providing sufficient amounts of consumable water to the country. The poor water quality in Saudi Arabia demonstrates a greater risk to the region than global terrorism does.

As a leading producer of oil and natural gas, Saudi Arabia continues to hold roughly 16 percent of the world’s oil reserves. Unfortunately, declining global oil prices in recent years have significantly affected Saudi Arabia’s economy, leading to governmental cuts and taxes in order to compensate for economic losses.

These struggles have led to problematic issues for the state to address, especially the water quality in Saudi Arabia. Since the country holds no permanent rivers or lakes and rainfall is a rarity, underground reservoirs were built in order to preserve water throughout the region. In addition to these reservoirs, Saudi Arabia utilizes desalinated water.

The process of desalinization extracts certain minerals from saline water, thus creating consumable water for the region. There are 27 desalination stations throughout the country, fully operable by the Saline Water Conservation Corporation. Together, these stations produce more than 792 million gallons of water per day for Saudi Arabia, which is currently the largest country that processes desalinated water.

As oil revenues continue to decline, Saudi Arabia has begun taxing water in order to address the region’s threatening debt. These taxes support the numerous warnings that predict the region’s groundwater will run out in the next 12 years. These warnings are spread throughout several Gulf countries, primarily due to the overwhelming water consumption throughout these regions, which highlights some of the highest levels per capita in the world.

The region relies on two sources of water: groundwater, which accounts for 98 percent of the water sources throughout Saudi Arabia, and water produced from desalination plants. In light of recent warnings, Saudi Arabia continues to improve water conditions through additional desalination plants and innovative technological advancements, which hope to enhance the water quality in Saudi Arabia and save millions of lives throughout the region.

Brandon Johnson

Photo: Flickr