Gov. Kim Reynolds and Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg, along with a broad cross section of Iowa agricultural and community leaders, celebrated the fifth anniversary of the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy at the Iowa State University BioCentury Research Farm near Boone Tuesday morning. The group gathered to reflect on the achievements that have taken place since the strategy was finalized in 2013 and share a vision for the next five years and beyond.
“Iowans across the state are making water quality a priority,” Gov. Reynolds said. “I was proud that the first bill I signed into law as governor was a historic water quality bill. The state has provided significant resources for water quality over the past five years, and using the science-backed Nutrient Reduction Strategy as our roadmap, we’re going to continue charging forward with our efforts.”
The Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy is a science and technology-based framework to assess and reduce nutrient loss from both point sources (like municipal and industrial wastewater treatment plants) and nonpoint sources (like stormwater runoff from both rural and urban areas) in Iowa.
In the five years since the strategy was finalized, there has been significant work by farmers, landowners, communities, businesses, stakeholders and partners to help improve water quality in Iowa. More information about the work that has taken place can be found in the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy Annual Progress Report.
“As Gov. Reynolds and I travel to each of Iowa’s 99 counties, we’ve had the opportunity to visit a variety of water quality projects and meet with Iowans committed to working together to improve water quality,” Lt. Gov. Gregg said. “The Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy has helped get everyone on the same page and pulling in the same direction to address this important issue.”
During the 2018 legislative session, lawmakers passed and Gov. Reynolds signed a bill that will provide more than $280 million for water quality efforts in Iowa over the next 12 years. This significant, long-term funding source will allow Iowa to build on its strong foundation and expand the collaborative, science-based efforts underway across the state.
In the coming years, research will continue through the Iowa Nutrient Research Center to provide the scientific support necessary to meet the strategy’s goals and connect research results to farmers, landowners and stakeholders. Scientists will continue working to improve technologies and practices like bioreactors, saturated buffers, prairie strips, drainage water recycling and cover crops – some of which have shown the potential to dramatically reduce loss of nutrients to Iowa waters.
More information about the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy can be found at NutrientStrategy.iastate.edu.