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Iowa water quality effort’s wallet widens

Photo courtesy of the Natural Rescources Conservation Service (NRCS)

by Ben Nuelle

One of the largest water quality projects in USDA’s Regional Conservation Practice Program will come to Iowa.

U.S. Department of Agriculture Regional Conservation Practice Program awarded $9.5 million to the Midwest Water Quality Partnership.

The initiative will be focused in targeted watersheds within the North Raccoon, South Skunk, Lake Red Rock, Middle Cedar and Upper Cedar watersheds and is harnessing more than 40 partners including portions of Illinois and Nebraska.

The lead partner on this project is the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.

Iowa Agriculture Deputy Secretary Mike Naig says they’re pleased to lead the Midwest Water Quality Partnership along with the Iowa’s Agriculture Water Alliance.

“This project and these dollars will bolster our ongoing efforts to improve water quality by working together to advance the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy. We currently have 32 water quality projects going on throughout the state. This project will focus on several watersheds including four priority water areas where we already have water quality initiative projects  on the ground,” Naig says.

Other partnership organizations include: Natural Resources Conservation Service, Greater Des Moines Partnership, Iowa Soybean Association, Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Pork Producers, and Land O’ Lakes, Winfield.

The project will leverage $4.75 million in state funding and $33 million from the private sector to expand water quality efforts.

The award was announced Tuesday at the Iowa Soybean Association Research Conference in Des Moines.

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