Water

Water is a finite resource. It is a necessity for the life of all individuals and all living things. We have a responsibility to share this resource today and act as good stewards for future generations.

When water is polluted, it’s our neighbors and communities that suffer. Surface water contamination limits economic activity. Groundwater degradation requires costly treatment systems, infrastructure that is too expensive for many small and mid-sized communities.

We depend on water to sustain our way of life. Crop producers rely on irrigation to remain profitable. Energy producers require surface water to maintain generation facilities. Communities count on rivers, lakes, and streams to attract visitors and support local business.

There are important challenges ahead. Increased levels of point source and nonpoint source pollution put our waterways at risk. Changing weather patterns lead to unpredictable precipitation, forcing many of us to adapt. Hydrologic fracturing, excessive and inefficient irrigation, and increased sedimentation all must be addressed.  

Water connects us all. The hydrologic cycle ensures this. Because we all benefit, we each have a role to play in its protection. 

Water Notes

 

Report Recap: Catching Waves: Farmers Gauge Risk to Advance Water Quality in Iowa

Farmers face risks, real and perceived, to their production systems when adopting a new practice, and often need technical and financial support to counter those risks. In early 2017, the Center for Rural Affairs received funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Extension Risk Management Education to survey Iowa farmers.

File attachments: 

What is a market-based approach to water quality?

Last month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a joint letter encouraging market-based, collaborative approaches to reduce excess nutrients in waterways. But, few other details were offered on how to best take this approach.

There are three possible market-based strategies for water quality improvement: nutrient reduction exchange, wetland mitigation banking, and environmental impact bonds.

2019 Iowa Legislative Priorities

In 2017, we developed an active presence on Iowa state policy, which continues today. Our priority issues include clean energy and water quality. We collaborate with coalition partners, develop relationships with key legislators, and engage Iowa supporters.

Relevant developments concerning priority legislation will be shared via email. To sign up for updates, email info@cfra.org.

What is a market-based approach to water quality?

Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a joint letter to state and tribal regulators encouraging market-based, collaborative approaches to reduce excess nutrients in waterways. But, few other details were offered on how to best take this approach. Now that the EPA has released some clarifications around the Waters of the U.S. ruling, it appears new efforts could be on the horizon.