Texas Tech Law Center Studies Solutions for Pharmaceutical Contamination

In the midst of recent news that drinking water across the nation is riddled with traces of pharmaceuticals and other unsavory micro-pollutants, the Texas Tech University School of Law’s Center for Water Law and Policy is already helping to find solutions to the problem.

The center is using a $450,000 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency to research the long-term environmental impact of micro-pollutants, such as pharmaceuticals and personal care products, and formulate remedial strategies.

Information gathered from this study will be used to create a clearinghouse of information that can help scientists and lawmakers more effectively develop water law and policy.

The study focuses on a wastewater land application site used by the City of Lubbock for more than 70 years. Gabriel Eckstein, law professor and director of the center, noted that this site is an ideal location for studying the long-term impact of pharmaceuticals and personal care products.

Researchers hope to get a better understanding of how micro-pollutants behave and what happens to them once they are introduced to an environment.

Eckstein is an internationally recognized expert in water law who has worked directly with the United Nations and other world bodies on water-related issues and laws. The center was founded in 2005 in response to the growing need for research into and information about global water issues. The center focuses on addressing, analyzing and evaluating the many issues surrounding water availability and utilization, and then developing laws and regulations to support best practices in water conservation and management.
The center is part of Texas Tech’s Interdisciplinary Water Initiative. It is the only educational institution within a law school in the United States dedicated to the study, teaching and development of water law policy, with focus on legal and associated policy issues related to the use, allocation, management, regulation and protection of fresh water resources at all levels of civil society.

CONTACT: Gabriel Eckstein, director, Center for Water Law and Policy & George W. McCleskey Professor of Water Law, Texas Tech School of Law, (806) 742-3990 x. 260 or gabriel.eckstein@ttu.edu