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Farm News Editorial

By Staff | Apr 10, 2015

Clean, safe water is important to all living things.

Consequently, it’s very good news that the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship has announced that nine new Urban Conservation Water Quality Initiative Demonstration Projects located all across Iowa have been selected to receive $655,194 in funding. These initiatives join 16 already supported Water Quality Initiative demonstration projects in targeted watersheds that are focused on helping farmers implement and demonstrate water quality practices.

The newly funded projects are located in Ames, Calmar, Cedar Falls, Des Moines, Granger, Lake City, Storm Lake, Webster City and West Des Moines.

“This is an exciting next step for the Iowa Water Quality Initiative as we work together with communities, businesses and homeowners in our towns and cities,” Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey said late last month in announcing the latest awards. “Expanding the Water Quality Initiative to include these projects builds on the important partnership of urban and rural areas working together to protect and improve water quality.”

According to IDALS, Iowa has provided $7.4 million to fund water quality projects. To augment that effort, the department has leveraged an additional $11.7 million of funding from partners and landowners.

The goal of the new projects is further conservation measures that capture and allow stormwater to be absorbed into the ground and reduce a property’s contribution to water quality degradation, stream flows and flooding, according to information released by IDALS. Reducing nutrient loads in surface waters is also an objective.

Northey and other officials at IDALS deserve applause for getting these important new projects underway. The department’s water quality initiatives warrant the enthusiastic support of all Iowans.

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