As DWFI’s reputation and expertise in effective water management grows, so do opportunities to make a difference in communities both local and abroad. Thanks to a generous $5 million gift from Anne Hubbard, MD, and her family’s foundation, the Claire M. Hubbard Foundation, a new Water, Climate and Health Program was introduced during the summer of 2020.
The program is based at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC), with professionals contributing from DWFI and the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources (IANR). The new program is bringing together diverse experts and students to tackle public health issues related to water and community health.
One early focus of the program is human and veterinary antibiotics in Nebraska’s waterways and ecosystems. The principal investigator Steven Thomas, DWFI Faculty Fellow and UNL School of Natural Resources Associate Professor, explained that antibiotics can significantly alter the structure and function of wetlands, streams, rivers, lakes, and reservoirs by disrupting microbial communities. The project will investigate antibiotics’ impact in streams across Nebraska.
In addition to addressing water quality issues such as water contaminants, the new program will tackle threats to public health caused by extremes in water quantities—droughts and floods.
The Water, Climate and Health program isn’t intended to overwrite existing water-focused organizations but rather enhance the work already being done. According to Meghan Langel, program coordinator, the goal is to fill gaps in research, education, outreach, training and science.
DWFI has a deep bench of knowledgeable experts on water and health. Through generous donations like Dr. Hubbard’s, it can put those resources to use to meet community water challenges in Nebraska and beyond.
Peter G. McCornick, who has led the Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute as executive director since 2016, has been reappointed for a second five-year term.
As DWFI’s reputation and expertise in effective water management grows, so do opportunities to make a difference in communities both local and abroad.
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