Iowa’s Gov. Terry Branstad has signed into law $9.6 million in support for water quality. The Iowa Department of Agriculture says the measure to support the Iowa Water Quality Initiative also officially adds “Water Quality” to the Department’s Division of Soil Conservation.
“Iowans in both rural and urban areas continue to be engaged in efforts to improve water quality. These funds will help as we work to continue to build and expand practices shown to protect water quality and monitor progress. Iowa is a model nationally for the progress that can be made on this important issue,” [Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill] Northey said.
The Legislature provided $4.4 million for water quality in the Agriculture and Natural Resources appropriation bill (SF 494), which was signed into law on June 18. In addition, $5.2 million was included in the in Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund (RIIF budget, HF 650), which was signed into law on July 2.
SF 494 also added “Water Quality” to the name of the Department’s Division of Soil Conservation and Water Quality to formalize the increased focus on the issue by the Department over the last several years.
The department says the money funds will allow it to offer cost share statewide to farmers trying new water quality practices, continue work in targeted watersheds to achieve measurable water quality improvements, expand urban conservation efforts, and develop new programs to help engage all Iowans in improving water quality.