New Funding Announced for Central Iowa Water Quality Project
Project helps to build water quality momentum in targeted watersheds
DES MOINES, Iowa (Aug. 4, 2022) – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig today announced the funding of the next-phase of an innovative water quality and soil conservation demonstration project in targeted watersheds in Central Iowa. Continuing to partner with farmers, landowners, cooperatives and retailers, farm organizations, and the Polk County Soil and Water Conservation District, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship will expand and scale-up the deployment of proven and cost-effective conservation practices that support the water quality and soil health goals of the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy.
“I’m excited about the momentum that this project is helping to build in these targeted Central Iowa watersheds as we continue to add partners, dedicated funding, and scale up and accelerate the deployment of proven conservation practices,” said Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig. “Whether in an urban or rural area, everyone has a responsibility to help protect and improve our state’s water quality and collaborative partnership projects like this will help us achieve our nutrient reduction goals.”
During the next three-year phase of this project, an emphasis will be placed on advancing the implementation of edge of field (EOF) practices through the “batch and build” model. The project, funded at $312,819.45, will use relationships built with local co-ops and farm organizations to expand outreach to their clients and members to get more practices installed. Since the project’s inception in 2016, approximately 1,200 acres of cover crops, 44 saturated buffers, 13 bioreactors, and two water quality wetlands have been funded.
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.