Man testifying at state legislature


Action Alert: Support water quality, flood mitigation in Iowa


Iowa lawmakers are beginning to put together the state budget—and you have an opportunity to support water quality and flood mitigation efforts. 

The Center for Rural Affairs is urging lawmakers to include funds for Watershed Management Authority (WMA) staff in the final budget.

Iowa’s WMAs are coalitions of local leaders working together to address water quality and flooding concerns. Since their establishment by the Legislature in 2010, they have installed more than 2,600 conservation practices—such as cover crops, edge-of-field practices, and flood control projects—and brought more than $50 million to Iowa. To learn more, read our recent report.

Farmers, landowners, and key stakeholders are asking the WMAs to continue their good work. However, their efforts can only be accomplished with staff in place. Since the start of 2022, the number of WMAs with full-time coordinators has shrunk from 13 to 7. We expect that number to be even lower by the end of the year. 

Lawmakers are considering an $800,000 investment in staff for the WMAs. Will you encourage your senator and representative to support efforts to include the WMAs in the budget? 

A handful of lawmakers play a critical role in the process. If you live in one of the districts below, your voice is especially important. Please reach out via phone or email, and express your support for the WMAs. 

Iowa House: 

Iowa Senate: 

Keep it civil, keep it simple. Let them know where you’re from in the district, and why you care about voluntary conservation practices, water quality, and flood mitigation. 

If you have any questions or would like more information about contacting your legislators, please reach out to Kate Hansen at or 515-215-1294.

State and national policy directly impact how we live. We always need advocates to speak up for rural America.

We work on a variety of issues, from rural development, to clean energy, to conservation and climate. When we work with supporters, we use the same general tools to advocate across our issues. This page outlines some general resources about tools and tactics we have found to be effective.

Are you willing to take action today? There are three ways you can help right now.

  • Make your voice heardCall, email, or write your elected officials. Keep their contact information handy. Legislation can move fast; be ready at a moment’s notice.
  • Step up and take actionWrite a letter to the editor. Speak out in your community. Attend a listening session. Testify at the state capitol. Tell us how you’re ready to step up to build a stronger, brighter rural future.
  • Pitch in to support the effortYour donation today helps ensure we have the resources to share your values with representatives in Lincoln and Des Moines, or maybe at your statehouse.  

Don’t forget to display confidence, enthusiasm, credibility, and commitment. One way to display credibility is telling your representative where you live, so they know you are a constituent in their district.

Sign up for our newsletter and email alerts—We’ll keep you in the loop with action alerts, and steps you can take to advocate for timely policy. If you live in Nebraska, Iowa, or South Dakota, we’ll also send you biweekly legislative updates from our staff working at your state capitol during session. 

How will these actions create change? The people you are reaching out to are lawmakers who need your vote to become elected or stay in office. As your representatives, their job is to shape policy on behalf of your interests.

If you would like to be involved in any of these activities: make phone calls, host meetings, meet with elected officials, write letters, or testify on important legislation, please contact us at

Your advocacy ensures your voice is heard on issues that matter most to you. Remember to always show respect to legislators and their staff members, regardless of where they stand on the issue.

For more information on how to be an advocate: