Under McCornick’s leadership, DWFI has made huge strides in fulfilling its mission to improve agricultural water management to ensure sustainable food and water security in the face of population and income increases, a changing climate, and the growing demand for scarce water resources, said University of Nebraska System President Ted Carter.
"The University of Nebraska's Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute is helping to solve one of the most urgent and complex challenges facing our world today. Thanks to the work of our faculty and our many partners, Nebraska is leading that conversation,” Carter said. “We have much work ahead, and I believe Dr. Peter McCornick is the right person to lead the Institute forward. I look forward to what we will achieve under Peter's leadership in helping improve the human condition here and around the world."
DWFI’s recent accomplishments include improving food security through farmer-led irrigation efforts. DWFI has also continued to develop and apply its suite of tools to provide usable, accurate and real-time information on water use across Nebraska and beyond for farmers, water managers, planners and other researchers.
The institute has also helped advance successful business models in irrigated agriculture. As an example, the International Fund for Agricultural Development recently partnered with DWFI and provided a $1 million grant to identify and promote new irrigation opportunities in Rwanda and five other sub-Saharan Africa countries.
Last year, the Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute, the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s College of Public Health, and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources (IANR) established the Water, Climate and Health partnership to address some of Nebraska’s most pressing public health issues associated with water and climate.
“Dr. McCornick is a highly effective leader and a wonderful partner, who has significantly advanced the mission of DWFI, leading to many impactful outcomes for the people of Nebraska and beyond,” said Mike Boehm, NU vice president for agriculture and natural resources and Harlan Vice Chancellor for IANR. “Because of his leadership and vision, DWFI is well positioned to continue its upward and exciting trajectory.”
Prior to joining DWFI, McCornick was the deputy director general of research at the International Water Management Institute. With an international career focused on improving the sustainable management of water resources, he has led inter-disciplinary research and development programs on water, agriculture and the environment in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Canada and the United States.
McCornick earned his bachelors from the University of Newcastle, and his masters and doctorate from Colorado State University. He is a licensed professional civil engineer in the State of Colorado, and a member of the American Academy of Water Resources Engineers. In 2018, McCornick was elected a board member of the World Water Council and a member of FAO’s international steering committee of the Water Scarcity in Agriculture initiative. His second term leading DWFI takes effect July 1, 2021.