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Water quality gets a major boost

Demonstration grants strengthen urban conservation program

April 8, 2016
Farm News

Keeping water everywhere in the Hawkeye State as free of contaminants as possible is an important goal. Consequently, it's very good news that additional grants have been approved by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship to strengthen and broaden the state's Urban Conservation program.

Late last month Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey announced that $919,149 in funding had been authorized for 13 urban conservation water quality initiative demonstration projects. In addition to the state monies, $2.59 million in matching funds will be devoted to these projects. There will also be a variety of in-kind contributions from various parties, according to information provided by IDALS.

"We continue to be encouraged by the response we are seeing both in rural and urban areas to the Iowa Water Quality Initiative," Northey said in a statement issued March 23. "Iowans are very engaged and these 13 new urban projects, along with the 32 demonstration projects already in place, will allow us to continue to expand the effort and get new water quality practices installed."

The communities where the 13 new initiatives will take place are Amana, Ankeny, Arnolds Park, Bloomfield, Cedar Rapids (two locations), Davenport, Des Moines (two locations), Lake View, Sioux City, Storm Lake and West Des Moines.

The conservation measures being supported will include efforts to handle runoff from storms occur in ways that minimize degradation of water quality. Reducing flooding from runoff also will be addressed.

The Iowa Water Quality Initiative is an especially noteworthy government program because it puts a strong emphasis on partnerships between governmental bodies and the private sector. According to IDALS it was established "to help implement the Nutrient Reduction Strategy, which is a science-and-technology-based approach to achieving a 45 percent reduction in nitrogen and phosphorus losses to our waters."

Farm News welcomes these new conservation projects. Northey's championing of the Water Quality Initiative deserves applause. This important undertaking will benefit our state far into the future.

 
 

 

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