DNR scoring system fails to protect Iowa water, air, health

photo: DNR scoring system fails to protect Iowans' air, water, health

Dickinson County leaders are asking for a temporary moratorium on new animal-confinement operations. The “Master Matrix” is the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) scoring system designed to bring county government into the process of locating large concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). It is supposed to protect neighbors and the environment but has proven to be an ineffective device that gives county supervisors very little to do or say. And

[more…]

Lawsuit Dismissal Spells Bad News for Iowa Water Quality

Central Iowans got bad news about the quality of their drinking water on Friday when a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit by the Des Moines Water Works against three northern Iowa drainage districts. In 2015, the public utility – which provides clean drinking water to 500,000 residents of central Iowa – sued three drainage districts in northern Iowa to force them into taking action to reduce high levels of nitrates

[more…]

Farm conservation leaders describe trials and solutions

Farm conservation leaders describe trials and solutions

Photo courtesy Soil Health Partnership

KALONA, Iowa — Returns from conservation practices may be hard to quantify, and management challenges difficult to overcome, but Southeast Iowa farmers Steve Berger and Francis Thicke see viable solutions to preserve Iowa’s topsoil and reduce nutrient loss.

Berger and Thicke spoke at an event hosted by the Sierra Club of Southeast Iowa and the Iowa Valley Resource Conservation and Development at the Kalona Library … [more…]

Editorial: Iowa’s filthy waterways are a disgrace

photo: Iowa's filthy waterways are a disgrace

Beach-goers enjoy the sun at Lake Macbride on Thursday. Algae and E. coli levels have been a statewide concern this summer.
Photo: David Scrivner/Iowa City Press-Citizen

If you want to swim in a lake with E. coli and toxins that can kill a small dog, Iowa is the place to be. This state is heaven for anyone who enjoys fishing in smelly streams, rafting down polluted rivers, and contributing to

[more…]

Kansas Researchers Say Climate Change Will Deteriorate Midwest Water Quality

Kansas Researchers Say Climate Change Will Deteriorate Midwest Water Quality

Following periods of drought, heavy rains and flooding can flush nitrate out of dry soil and into drinking water. In 2016, the Cedar River flooded areas of northeast Iowa, shown here.

Midwesterners are used to extreme weather. We take pride in enduring everything from torrential downpours to the most desiccating drought. Climate change is expected to increase the frequency of these fluctuations between drought and flood, though, according to new

[more…]