The Capitol Report by Sen. Rich Taylor
Heavy rains this summer have brought trouble, misery and headaches to many Iowans. Stream flows are up in most parts of the state, and shallow groundwater is getting back to normal. On the down side, heavy rains can increase flooding and pollution of our waterways.
The Legislature is working to tackle these problems with support for the Iowa Flood Center and other initiatives. Through projects in Iowa communities, Flood Center researchers are designing ways to better monitor stream flow, creating a library of flood-inundation maps and developing new floodplain maps.
Iowa’s new Water Quality Initiative is improving conservation practices in high-priority watersheds. Over the last couple of years, we approved funding for scientific, cost-effective approaches that will leave our land and water in better shape for future generations.
At the same time, we’ve provided funding for the Iowa Nutrient Research Center to study and develop strategies to improve our waterways, including tools for farmers to reduce runoff from their land and the best ways to keep excess nitrogen and phosphorous out of the water.
As part of this effort, cost share assistance is available to help farmers install new nutrient reduction practices that will improve productivity and keep sediment out of the water. Last year, in just two weeks, more than 1,000 farmers signed up for cost share funding on 100,000 acres in all 99 counties. To learn more and submit an application for funding, go to https://idals.iowa.gov/FARMS/.
For those interested in learning what steps they can take—whether on a farm, at a business or in a home—a one-stop shop for water quality conservation is available at www.CleanWaterIowa.org.
In the coming weeks, Iowans will have the chance to make their voices heard on water quality standards. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources will hold six public meetings around the state in early September. To learn more, contact Rochelle Weiss, DNR water quality standards coordinator, at 515-281-4736 orRochelle.Weiss@dnr.iowa.gov.
Senator Rich Taylor, representing Henry and Lee counties and portions of Washington and Jefferson counties. To contact Taylor, call 319-931-1568 or email email@example.com.