Water quality


Lip Service: Iowa’s inadequate commitment to clean water

Policymakers need to acknowledge both the magnitude of the water quality problem in Iowa, and the role of nonpoint-source nutrient pollution. Financing has been inadequate. We pay lip service to our financial responsibility as a state and have underestimated what is required for success.

Here we address four questions: What has the state’s spending commitment to water quality looked like over the past 15 years? How much state and federal spending goes to nutrient pollution reduction in Iowa? How much spending is needed to make meaningful progress in cleaning Iowa waters? How can the state raise adequate revenue to make an impact?

Roadmap for Opportunity: Water quality and the Nutrient Reduction Strategy

  • September 18, 2018
  • IPP staff

Environmental issues—particularly water quality—are integral to a discussion of opportunity. Both the health and the economic fortunes of Iowans depend on a healthy environment and public policy that support it. Clean and abundant water is a critical asset that helps make Iowa an attractive place for families and businesses to locate.

The Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy (NRS) would appear to recognize this role, setting a goal to stop pollution by reducing nitrogen and phosphorus discharges by 45 percent. The NRS performance is another matter, due to policy shortcomings.