Sufficient water supply of appropriate quality is a key ingredient in the health and well-being of humans and ecosystems, and for social and economic development.

Volunteer Morocco is on a mission! Conducting water quality research as a means to address contamination will eventually result in rural areas having access to cleaner water. Improving the quality of life of those in need is the goal. 

As part of this goal, in addition to doing research, Volunteer Morocco is providing University students with the opportunity to do water quality research on the water supplies in Moroccan villages to determine what chemicals or pollutants are in the drinking water that could affect the health of the inhabitants.

Volunteer Morocco is always looking for collaborations and interns or researchers who wish to join our team.  If interest please contact us.

Sous-Massa Region

SUMMER 2015-- Aziz El Madi

Volunteer Morocco is conducting water management studies in the Sous-Massa region in southern Morocco in collaboration with the University of Ibn Zohr. Although Sous-Massa has a semi-arid climate, it is the country’s breadbasket and produces crops year-round. The unpredictability of rainfall is compounded by stress on the region groundwater resources, which are both being pumped at an unsustainable rate and degraded by contaminants from agriculture and industry.

Currently, Volunteer Morocco is building off of previous water quality studies done on the basin by collecting and analyzing water samples from various wells throughout the area in order to assess changes in contaminant concentrations since the last study in 2009 and to identify the exact sources of contamination using isotope tracers.

The Water Quality Research conducted by Aziz El Madi, Director of Volunteer Morocco, along with his research assistant Hichem Hadjeres, during his 2015 sabbatical from his position with the Chemistry Department of Salem State University, Salem, MA.,  is making a difference in the lives of the people living in Southwest Morocco.  The exploration is a collaboration with Ibn Zohr University to analyze water quality utilizing instruments donated by Thermo Fisher Scientific to investigate polluted water that effects the health of individuals living in Southwest Morocco.  Research projects such as these facilitated by Volunteer Morocco are improving the quality of life with each scientific research collaboration.  Access to clean water is a basic human right and imperative to the well being of individuals and societies.

 (Photo by Pedro Branco, 2015. Courtesy of Filmmakers Without Borders)

(Photo by Pedro Branco, 2015. Courtesy of Filmmakers Without Borders)

Imsouane and Shtouka Regions

SUMMER 2014-- Nora Nid

During the summer of 2014, Nora Nid, a Master Candidate from Södertörn University in Sweden continued the water quality research began by Jimmy Elliot in 2013.   The research objective in this study was to investigate if the intrusion in the study area of the Moroccan regions; Imsouane and Shtouka also create increasing number of microorganisms and how this will affect the water quality of the villagers.

The bacterial analysis (microorganisms at 22 ºC and 37 ºC, Coliform bacteria, Echerichia coli, Intestinal enterococci and Clostridium perfingens) was made with the same water sampling approach as the chemical analysis but adding 1 random urban district for comparison.

Nora bacterial analysis.png

The results show that all 10 rural water samples are classified as undrinkable and the urban water sample is classified as drinkable according to the guidelines for drinking water. The conclusion is that further investigation must be made on different sources of contamination and existing factors that generates the growth of microorganisms in the rural wells along with recommendations for those in authority to prevent any potential waterborne outbreaks among rural villagers in southwest Morocco.  Nora Nid successfully defended her research in her Master’s Thesis entitled “Water quality in southwest rural areas of Morocco – A fieldstudy"

 

SUMMER 2013 -- Jimmy Elliot

In the summer of 2013, Jimmy Elliot, a student at Salem State University, with the supervision of Aziz El Madi, a member of the faculty of Chemistry at Salem State University and the director of Volunteer Morocco Inc, collaborated with Dr Said Boutaleb from the Hydrogeology Department at Ibn Zohr University located in Morocco and performed water quality field work in two Moroccan regions; Imsouane and Shtouka. Underground water pollutants were studied in both regions.  Our measurement was the first in both regions.

We performed the following tests:  Nitrate ion probe (pollutants), ammonium ion probe (pollutants), chloride ion probe, calcium ion probe.  The work done in 2013 was presented by Jimmy Elliot at the Environmental and Sustainability Symposium for Chemistry at Bridgewater State University.