Water

Water is a fundamental resource, and we believe rural communities will play a key role in improving water quality. By promoting stewardship and pursuing policies that improve water quality, build soil health, and protect our natural resources, we hope to ensure clean water for generations of rural Americans.

When water is polluted, our neighbors and communities are put at a disadvantage and public health is threatened. Surface water contamination limits the potential for economic opportunities and groundwater degradation requires costly treatment systems—infrastructure that is often too expensive for many rural communities.

Across rural America, farmers, ranchers, and communities all depend on clean and abundant water to sustain our way of life. Agricultural producers rely on water for productive yields and livestock, communities need water to provide basic services to their residents, and local businesses rely on rivers, lakes, and streams to attract visitors who stimulate the economy.

Important challenges remain in pursuit of clean water in rural places. Increased levels of point source and nonpoint source pollution often put our waterways at risk. Changing weather patterns lead to unpredictable precipitation, forcing many of us to adapt as flooding and droughts become more frequent.

At the Center for Rural Affairs, we aim to elevate the efforts of rural people who are taking action in support of clean water. We advocate for public policies that empower farmers to adopt conservation practices and communities to provide safe drinking water. Ultimately, we work to ensure rural Americans can take pride in the waterways we all depend on.

Iowa Watershed Resource Library

Rural Iowans should be involved in the decisions that impact their futures and we believe that the state’s most effective path to cleaner water includes a strong emphasis on a watershed approach. Click here for a resource library for watersheds across Iowa to inform, assist, and empower those who live within their boundaries.