Environment News

Des Moines Sues over Water Quality

Des Moines Water Works is suing several Iowa drainage districts under the Clean Water Act. The action has prompted handwringing among political and farm leaders in Iowa.

The implications of the debate reach far beyond state boundaries.

The lawsuit charges that upstream drainage districts are failing to properly regulate pollutants that flow from agricultural land into the Raccoon River watershed. Des Moines draws its drinking water from the river.

Unapologetically Rural: Clean Energy

“The biggest issue on climate right now is that there is no awareness. We need to let people know.” Those words from our annual report came from Arlyn Schipper.

Last March Arlyn Schipper, a conventional grain farmer in Grundy Center, Iowa, took part in an event we hosted in a nearby town church hall. Our conversation focused on the threat climate change poses to modern agriculture. Until last year Arlyn didn’t believe in climate change. Six months later he was asking a room of 75 rural citizens to take action.

Belgrade Solar Tour Generates Energy and Interest

Solar energy was the main topic of interest on May 16 at Jim Knopik’s farm near Belgrade, Neb. More than 20 visitors watched the electric meter change speed when the sun came from behind the clouds on the partly-cloudy day. Jim noted, “My meter actually runs backwards on days when the sun is fully exposed and my usage is low."


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