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Is Iowa’s Water Quality Getting Better or Worse?

[Source: Keith Schilling, Iowa Geological Survey at the University of Iowa, 07.2016 | Keywords: Water, Water Quality, Iowa] Although it took several decades for significant progress to be seen on the land, practices such as contour cropping, terracing and grass waterways were adopted, slowing runoff and reducing soil erosion and sediment export. Media outlets and the public quickly pounce on the latest news of a spill or water quality violation, believing that this event is proof that water quality is getting worse. But trends are a tricky business. If you say that water quality is getting worse, this implies that it… Read More »

IOWA: Farmers vs. Clean Water

[Source: AgriNews and Des Moines Register, 07.2016 | Keywords: Water, Water Quality, Iowa] Over 1 1/2 years ago, Des Moines Water Works filed a lawsuit against drainage districts in three northwest Iowa counties, claiming that underground tiles are acting as conduits, funneling high levels of nitrates into the Raccoon River, a source of drinking water for 500,000 central Iowa residents. This lawsuit may have broad ramifications for state and U.S. farmers, who environmentalists complain have been too slow to embrace meaningful conservation practices. Some say the outcome could, for the first time, indirectly require farmers to meet federal clean-water regulations that limit nutrients,… Read More »

Channeling Nebraska Waters

[Source: Central Nebraska Public Power & Irrigation District and Wessels Living History Farm, 07.2016 | Keywords: Nebraska, Water] Water – noun, wa·ter \ˈwȯ-tər, ˈwä-\ A clear liquid that has no color, taste or smell that falls from clouds as rain and forms streams, lakes and seas, and is used for drinking, washing, etc. Water plays a huge role in our lives. We need it to survive. We drink it and cook with it. We bathe in it and use it to wash clothes. We boat and swim in it. We water our gardens, yards and crops.   It can be… Read More »