Global Health Tuesday: Water, Women and Fisheries

When

Tuesday September 26th, 2017, 4:30pm

Duration: 60 minutes

Tuesday September 26th, 2017, 4:30pm 2017-09-26 17:30:00 America/Chicago Global Health Tuesday: Water, Women and Fisheries Presented by: Jessica Corman, postdoctoral researcher in the Center for Limnology Room 1010, Medical Sciences Center, 1300 University Avenue

Presenter(s)

Jessica Corman, postdoctoral researcher in the Center for Limnology

Where

Room 1010, Medical Sciences Center, 1300 University Avenue

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Addressing ecological realities impacting human health at Lake Victoria

 

Kenyan student collecting information on the effects of water hyacinth on water quality in Lake Victoria.

Nutrient loading from wastewater effluent and agricultural runoff can cause eutrophication and proliferation of toxin-producing cyanobacteria. Like many lakes, Africa’s Lake Victoria provides food, drinking water, and a source of livelihood for surrounding communities in Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya. These ecosystem services, however, are impacted negatively by increased resource demands, eutrophication, and climate change.

This project, funded by a Global Health Institute 2016 Seed Grant, investigates the impact of nutrient pollution and invasive species with the aim to identify local solutions to mitigate water quality challenges. Kisumu Bay, which receives runoff from the third largest municipality in Kenya, is the focus of the study which combines approaches from social science (e.g., community surveys) and ecology (e.g., manipulative experiments). Survey results point to distinct differences among communities’ use of lake water for drinking, cooking, and economic benefit. For instance, 38% of households are able to access alternative water sources, although these sources may still have health risks (e.g., fish ponds). Ecological experiments suggest laboratory results of improved water quality with macrophyte growth may not always scale to the lake, hence, different strategies to minimize health risks associated with communities living near and using lake water may be needed.

Jessica Corman

Jessica Corman is a limnologist and ecologist working at the UW-Madison Center for Limnology. She studies nutrient cycling in lakes and streams, linking biogeochemical processes with water quality. She earned her doctoral degree from Arizona State University and will be starting a new position as an assistant professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in December 2017.

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