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Funds earmarked for water projects

By Staff | Oct 8, 2015

DES MOINES (IDALS) – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey said funds are available for additional demonstration projects focused on expanding the use of innovative water quality practices.

The deadline to apply is Nov. 13.

The announcement of projects selected to receive funding is anticipated for early December, with Jan. 1, 2016 as the scheduled project start date.

Projects should emphasize installing practices, innovative methods of delivery and demonstrating results to farmers.

Funds are available through the Iowa Water Quality Initiative for proposals focused on practices identified in the Nutrient Reduction Strategy that have the greatest impact on reducing nutrient loss.

Projects are not limited to the nine priority watersheds identified by the Water Resources Coordinating Council, but projects in those watersheds will receive preference in the application process.

Soil and Water Conservation Districts, watershed groups and other non-governmental organizations are eligible to submit applications. Applicants will be able to seek up to three years of funding for a project, with the possibility of future extensions depending on funding availability and project performance.

Currently there are 29 collaborative, locally led projects from across the state bringing together over 100 individual partners, groups and businesses to advance water quality,” Northey said.

“This new funding will help continue the momentum and allow us to continue to engage farmers and encourage even greater adoption of practices focused on protecting water quality.”

These projects will focus on expanding the use of cover crops, edge-of-field practices such as bioreactors and saturated buffers, and usage of water quality wetlands.

“Practices like bioreactors and saturated buffers have been documented to have been shown to have significant and long lasting impact on reducing nutrient loss, but are relatively new practices,” Northey said. “These projects will help build on efforts to scale up the delivery of these practices and others to broaden adoption and recognition of these important technologies.”

Application guidance can be found on the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship’s website at www.IowaAgriculture.gov under “Hot Topics” or can be requested by contacting the Department’s Division of Soil Conservation and Water Quality at (515) 281-5851.

Background on Iowa Water Quality Initiative at www.CleanWaterIowa.org.

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