By Ben Nuelle
Over $300 million went to water quality benefit programs in Iowa last year.
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey said $325 million in state and federal funds went to water quality programs.
“I think it is very important to look at lots of different measures of how much progress we’re making. To be able to get to the place where showing real water quality improvements we have to have practices adopted. We need farmers and others in urban areas to think about water quality and we need some resources,” Northey said.
Northey said they also need cost-share dollars and other ways of fund people.
“To do good things, try new things, and increase activity. One of the ways to measure those is looking at state and federal contributions into the water quality area to be able to track that helps us understand both what’s going on and how we can increase funding in the future,” Northey said.
The Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy Annual Report provided to the Water Resources Coordinating Council (WRCC) this summer highlighted $105 million invested by state and federal agencies in programs with water quality benefits. Additionally, $220 million was invested by USDA in Iowa through the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) which also has broad water quality and conservation benefits.
The Nutrient Reductions Strategy annual report can be found at www.nutrientstrategy.iastate.edu under “Strategy documents.” A wide variety of state and federal programs are identified in the report.