Water News

Growing number of concentrated animal feeding operations raises water quality concerns

At a time when people feel incredibly divided and polarized, some issues still resonate across the spectrum. In rural areas, these issues include eminent domain, farm profitability, and viable, vibrant rural communities. Another issue increasingly joining this group in Iowa is the widespread growth of concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). A CAFO is defined as an agricultural enterprise where animals are raised in confinement, with a minimum of 1,000 animal units (which is 700 dairy cows, 1,000 beef cattle, 2,500 hogs, or 30,000 chickens) confined for 45 days per year.

2018 Iowa Legislative policy priorities

In 2017, we developed an active presence on Iowa state policy. Our priority issues included clean energy and water quality. We collaborated with coalition partners, developed relationships with key legislators, and engaged Iowa supporters.

Relevant developments concerning priority legislation will be shared via Iowa Legislative Update emails. Email info@cfra.org to sign up for updates.

Iowa: Now is the time to act on water quality

Iowa legislators reconvene this week. First on the agenda is expected to be a fast-tracked water quality bill. Critics say the bill is inadequate for providing short-term funding that fails to use a targeted watershed approach. Iowa’s water quality continues to decline as the legislature delays on creating a stable, dedicated funding source to improve it.

By limiting debate and rushing a bill, Iowans are missing an opportunity to deliver a water quality bill that includes:

Local efforts to address water quality add up

To address water quality, Iowa needs more funding for on-the-ground practices and conservation. Most of the current funding comes from the federal government. At the state level, the public is putting more pressure to commit more resources into a stable long-term framework. Here, we dive into local and county efforts to fund and protect drinking water in Iowa.

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