New research to encourage better water resource management in developing nations

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RENO, NV, Jan. 28, 2013 -- Born and raised in a rural village in Northern Ghana, Dr. Braimah Apambire knows the value of resources in a critically-deprived country.

"I grew up in a rural community in Northern Ghana where firsthand, I learned that water scarcity was a prominent concern," Apambire said.

Apambire recently has been selected as the Senior Assistant to the President for Global Sustainability and Director for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programs at the Desert Research Institute. His work will help examine the sustainable use of water resources and build capacity in the developing world.

This opportunity was made possible through a generous three year grant of $500,000 from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. It will support Apambire's work with DRI to create a center on Water, Development and Sustainability issues.

Dr. Stephen Wells, DRI President, says research of this stature is what gives the institution its credibility as a world leader in the sciences. "Not only will the Hilton Foundation grant help DRI establish an extremely worthwhile and needed program, it will ultimately raise the international profile and awareness of DRI's water sustainability efforts."

Apambire has traveled the world in search of effective and safe drinking water solutions in developing nations. He previously published articles and reports on water crises in third world countries and the subsequent result of non-potable water quality on human health.

"Gaps in knowledge, research and human resource capacity impede government and non-governmental organizations' ability to implement water, sanitation and hygiene programs in developing countries," Apambire said. "This research is an opportunity to help change that."

The grant will provide both information and technical capacity to governmental and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) involved in solving water crises in African countries such as Ghana, Mali, and Ethiopia and as far east as India.

The research conducted will not only provide an informational gateway and technical approach to developing clean water solutions, but it will give citizens in developing countries an opportunity to improve the quality and effective use of a precious resource.

"We are extremely pleased to have Dr. Braimah Apambire serving through the good graces of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, as the director of this critical and exciting program that will benefit so many needy people around the world," Dr. Wells said.

For decades, the growing concern on limited water resources in places such as West Africa has turned into a reality. As safe water sources are sparse in these areas, it has led to diseases such as diarrhea, trachoma, and guinea worm from contaminated drinking water. To Apambire, this research will focus on developing solutions to real world problems that are considered a human rights concern.

"The need for improved management of water resources continues to grow as populations increase across the developing world. As a result, water quality challenges persist and global climate change constrains available resources even further," Apambire said.

Apambire's work will primarily be conducted out of the Division of Hydrologic Sciences at DRI. Jim Thomas, DHS Executive Director says it is of great value to have Apambire's experience and expertise at DRI. "Braimah's work and practical research approach with water and sanitation around the world will set apart DRI's research helping service real world problems in developing nations."

Apambire is familiar with Nevada as he is a former DRI Assistant Professor and a University of Nevada Reno (UNR) hydrologic sciences graduate student.

"With the generous grant from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, I look forward to working with colleagues at DRI and in developing countries to assist with reducing health-related issues and with the design of sustainable WASH programs."

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