Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship Announces the Funding of Two New Water Quality Partnership Projects
New projects will mean more practices installed in key watersheds
DES MOINES, Iowa (Aug. 8, 2022) – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig today announced the funding of two new water quality and soil conservation partnership projects that will increase the utilization and installation of proven conservation practices in key watersheds. Partnering with the Practical Farmers of Iowa in one project and the Soil and Water Conservation Society in the second project, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship will provide the funding to support outreach and technical assistance to deliver priority practices.
“With dedicated water quality funding, we are not only able to expand and scale-up existing partnerships, but we are also adding new projects that will be used to demonstrate new and innovative conservation practice delivery methods,” said Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig. “We are eager to welcome new partners, whether rural or urban, who want to work collaboratively with us to reach more Iowans and help deploy and install proven practices that will improve water quality.”
The first project, a partnership with Practical Farmers of Iowa, is designed to advance several land use and edge-of-field water quality practices. The 3-year project, funded at $480,000, will focus on direct one-on-one technical assistance and outreach to landowners to deploy strategically placed prairie plantings (prairie strips/precision conservation areas) and multipurpose oxbows to advance water quality and wildlife habitat efforts.
The second project, a partnership with the Soil and Water Conservation Society, is a 3-year project aiming to build capacity and edge-of-field infrastructure practices in four new locations within key watersheds. Leveraging existing local and national networks to streamline the installation process, this partnership, funded at $426,000, will deliver targeted outreach, technical assistance, resources, and training to build capacity.
Background on Iowa Water Quality Initiative
The Iowa Water Quality Initiative was established in 2013 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.
The strategy brings together both point sources, such as municipal wastewater treatment plants and industrial facilities, and nonpoint sources, including farm fields and urban stormwater runoff, to address these issues. The Initiative seeks to harness the collective ability of both private and public resources and organizations to deliver a clear and consistent message to stakeholders to reduce nutrient loss and improve water quality.
More information about the initiative can be found at www.CleanWaterIowa.org.