The environmental working group conducted a water study in Iowa saying voluntary water conservation methods are overall not working and not worth shelling out large sums of money towards.
I spoke to the watershed project coordinator for Buena Vista and Pocahontas counties about how she views the future of this issue.
"I think everybody sees degraded water quality but we are hoping to make improvements and by giving the farmers educating, and providing tools for implementing, it'd help with improving water quality," says Anita Patrick, Watershed Project Coordinator for the WQI Project in the headwaters of the North Raccoon.
Watershed Project Coordinator, Anita Patrick, said theres a variety of tools farmers can use when trying to improve water conservation. While many of the tools and practices are readily available, Patrick says the biggest challenge is getting those informed..and united.
"We do recognize that farmers can do their part and we are focusing on equipping local farmers and producers and landowners with tools that help them make environmentally sound decisions," says Patrick
From choosing to implement cover crops like Winter Hardy Cereal Rye or perennial grasses to utilizing Nitrogen sensing technology, Patrick assures landowners that there's a conservation method for every situation, it's just a matter of choosing the right one.
"With the Watershed Management Plan, we hope to prioritize different conservation practices and match them up to different locations," says Patrick.
Patrick doesn't believe that making mandatory laws governing farming practices would be effective since all farm lands are different and require a different set of standards.
"We recognize that every operation is different and there's no one single practice that's going to fit the issues. It's going to take a whole suit of practices, it's going to take cooperation, everybody to make it work," says Patrick.
We also spoke to Iowa Secretary of State, Bill Northey, about the study.
Here is what he had to say about the state's voluntary efforts:
"We certainly are no where where we need to end up. It's not going to happen overnight, but we are certainly making the kind of increased movements that are moving ahead as opposed to treading water."
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