owa Supreme Court decision puts momentum behind making real progress in improving water quality

Iowa Supreme Court decision puts momentum behind making real progress in improving water quality


ANKENY, IOWAIowa Soybean Association President Rolland Schnell issued the following statement regarding today’s decision rendered by the Iowa Supreme Court prohibiting Des Moines Water Works from seeking damages from drainage districts in three northwest Iowa counties.

“Today’s Iowa Supreme Court decision rejecting key claims in the Des Moines Water Works’ lawsuit bodes well for those serious about improving water quality in Iowa.

“As predicted, the litigation advanced by Des Moines Water Works has diverted critical time and money from strategies and practices proven to have a positive impact on water quality. It has divided Iowans, reflected poorly on our state and done nothing to make Iowa’s water cleaner.

“Water quality improvement in Iowa is warranted. Today’s decision by the court provides momentum in the appropriate direction. It renews hope that the Federal District judge will dismiss the case and Des Moines Water Works will abandon its expensive and divisive litigation. It also renews optimism that the utility will re-engage in a cooperative approach with rural Iowa to make real and long-lasting improvements in water quality.

“Iowa soybean farmers remain focused on advancing real solutions to better water. They include watershed planning, reducing tillage, increasing cover crop plantings and targeting installation of conservation practices where they have the most impact on the quality of our rivers, lakes and streams.

“These efforts, advanced by the Iowa Soybean Association, farmers and landowners, and are generating results:

  • Cover crop use will likely grow to 750,000 acres this year, an increase from about 500,000 acres in 2015 and approximately 10,000 acres in 2010;
  • Iowa Soybean Association tile water monitoring conducted last year documented a 29 percent nitrate concentration reduction in fields with cover crops;
  • Iowa Soybean Association monitoring of bioreactors has shown a 20-50 percent reduction in nitrate concentration; we are increasing the number of bioreactors deployed statewide as well as the installation of saturated buffers.

“Data-driven, science-based solutions are key to achieving water quality improvements. We’ve just begun this important, collaborative work, are energized about the results achieved and the role Iowa soybean farmers will play in deploying more conservation practices on more acres.”

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