AAI Applauds State Funding of Water Quality Efforts

AAI applauds the Iowa Legislature for approving substantial one-time funding for voluntary Iowa Water Quality Initiative programs in addition to the second year funding for Initiative projects. In total, the legislature has allocated $23.6 million to support water quality and conservation efforts during the 2014 legislative session. This funding was one of AAI’s top legislative priorities for this session.

The legislature approved $4.4 million in ongoing funding and $3.5 million in one-time funding specifically for the Iowa Water Quality Initiative.  These funds will allow the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) to continue encouraging broad adoption of water quality practices through statewide cost share assistance as well as more intensive work in targeted watersheds.  The legislation also gave IDALS the authority to provide cost share assistance for urban conservation projects.

The legislature also provided $5 million in one-time funding to help address the backlog of state soil conservation cost-share projects.  This is in addition to the annual appropriation of $6.7 million.  All funds are matched by the landowner to support construction.

The legislature provided $1.2 million to support the closure of eight additional agriculture drainage wells and $1.5 million to the Watershed Improvement Review Board.

Additionally, $1.3 million was appropriated to the nutrient management research center at Iowa State University to support ongoing research on practices farmers can use to reduce nutrient losses.

AAI thanks the legislature for their continued support of Iowa’s voluntary, science-based water quality efforts.