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Recent posts by Katie Rock

Utilities and transmission should present a unified effort on habitat conservation plans

Iowa has claimed a position as a leader in wind energy with the potential to produce 772,722 megawatts from wind according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Currently Iowa generates about 37 percent of its electricity from wind energy, ranking it third in the nation for wind energy production. While wind energy has proven to be an effective economic development tool that has been embraced by the state, it is also essential that project developers and operators take steps to avoid impacts on vulnerable animal species in the region that could be affected by wind energy systems.

Farmers face risk when adopting new practices to improve water quality

Water quality is a contentious issue across the country. For example, in Iowa, continued high nitrogen, phosphorous, bacteria, and sediment levels in surface waters threaten public health and outdoor recreation. 

In 2012, the state released a strategy to reduce nutrient and sediment loading in surface waters. However, the best plan forward remains uncertain. This lack of clarity leaves farmers feeling frustrated.

USDA extends Water Quality Initiatives through 2023

This July, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced plans to extend two landmark initiatives that have advanced water quality in Iowa. The Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watershed Initiative and the National Water Quality Initiative provide targeted funding and technical resources to farmers and landowners looking to improve their land.

Water quality takes more than a cash stream

With the latest round of debate on Iowa’s water quality problem, it’s clear there are no winners and losers, just too much water. Mother Nature has carved such a destructive path, as though she doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry in anger. To honor those we lost to drowning accidents last month – Larry Cotlar, Cha Charles Lee, Richard Lewis Mart, Ikran Noor, Celeste Sandoval-Ramos, and Landyn Short – the debate must continue.

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