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By Oscar Munoz & Michelle Badash

Texas & Massachusetts

Most of us don’t give too much thought to the availability of clean water – turn on any faucet, and it’s there. We may realize that there are places in the developing world where clean water is not easily accessible – but many people would be surprised to learn that certain communities right here in the United States have no clean water at their disposal.

Faculty at the Texas A & M University (TAMU) have created a unique program that combines the expertise of a multidisciplinary team of potters, engineers, housing experts and medical staff to provide access to clean water to The Colonias, a group of 2000 communities spread across a 1,434 mile section along the Texas border next to the Rio Grande River. More than half a million people living in The Colonias have no running water or sewage system in their homes.

A photo slideshow/video about the TAMU Water Project created by Michelle Badash.

Michelle Badash has been developing award-winning print and Web-based health content for non-profits, academia and the private sector for more than 15 years. She currently works as the Managing Editor of an academic international nutrition journal, and is also a freelance consultant specializing in global health and photography projects. Michelle is a volunteer editor of this year’s Health Literacy Month storytelling project. You can contact her directly at

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