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Improving water quality is an emphasis of Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. To further the efforts being made in the area, ISU Extension and Outreach is one of the founding members of the Iowa Source Water Ag Collaborative.
The collaborative was formed in March and is dedicated to providing Iowans information and resources to protect their drinking water.
“The collaborative was launched as a result of several successful workshops held around the state regarding source water,” said Claire Lindahl, executive director of the Conservation Districts of Iowa and chair of the collaborative. “We saw the great potential of this partnership and wanted to continue to work together to provide Iowans information and resources to be better informed on protecting their drinking water.”
Source water is drinking water that comes from the ground or a stream, lake or river. The majority of Iowans get their drinking water from the ground, either from a privately owned or community well.
“Many practices that reduce the loss of nitrates to surface water also protect groundwater,” said Jamie Benning, ISU Extension and Outreach water quality program manager. “Implementing practices such as cover crops in a capture zone protects local drinking water sources and contributes to meeting the goals of the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy.”http://www.nutrientstrategy.iastate.edu/
The collaborative’s recently unveiled website at http://www.iasourcewater.org/ has source water information and resources for private well users, communities, farmers, landowners and professionals that can be accessed.
Additionally, the collaborative has initiated the creation of Iowa’s first Source Water Protection Week which will provide an opportunity to celebrate the successes of ongoing partnerships in Iowa to protect water resources and promote additional opportunities for collaboration. Iowa’s Source Water Protection Week is May 1-8.
ISU Extension and Outreach is one of 14 entities to join the collaborative including the Agri-business Association of Iowa, Brinkman Ag Solutions, Conservation Districts of Iowa, Golden Hills Resource Conservation & Development, Heartland Co-op, Iowa Certified Crop Advisors, Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Soybean Association, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Iowa Section of the American Water Works Association, U.S. Department of Agriculture-Farm Services Agency, and U.S. Department of Agriculture-Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Clare Lindahl, Iowa Source Water Ag Collaborative chairperson, 515-289-8300, firstname.lastname@example.org
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