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Campaign encourages all Iowans to take an active role in improving water quality
DES MOINES, Iowa (Oct. 14, 2020) – The Clean Water in Iowa Starts Here tour will visit the Madison County fairgrounds today in Winterset. This stop highlights efforts to protect Cedar Lake, the source of drinking water for Winterset. The Winterset Utility Board, Madison Soil and Water Conservation District, Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, and local farmers and landowners have worked together to improve water quality in the lake through a collaborative planning and implementation process.
An open house from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. will feature a live radio remote of the Big Show, numerous partners sharing information, and free harvest meals provided by Iowa Corn.
“Drinking water is used by all Iowans, and every source of drinking water is different. Protecting Iowa's sources of drinking water requires good planning, collaboration, and partnership. Iowans in the Cedar Lake watershed have done incredible work and their success is visible with conservation practices now in place and more on the way,” said Iowa DNR Director Kayla Lyon.
“When public and private partners and rural and urban stakeholders work together, we can make more progress towards the state’s water quality goals,” said Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig. “This project is a great example of the rural-urban collaboration we had in mind when the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy was developed.”
“The Madison County Soil and Water Conservation District is committed to protecting the natural resources of Madison County. The district is working with the many partners in the Cedar Lake watershed to protect Cedar Lake. Winterset’s water supply is very important to the county. Cedar Lake provides water to the largest city in Madison County, our hospital, courthouse, largest school, and many others that depend on good drinking water every day. Good drinking water is something that people just depend on, and we are glad that working together with everyone we can help provide that in Winterset,” said Frederick Martens, chairperson of the Madison County Soil and Water Conservation District.
“Cedar Lake, Winterset’s drinking water supply, is a valuable resource that needs to be protected for our community. The Utility Board has been committed to protecting the lake and have been working with landowners, urban residents, and farmers in the watershed that drains into the lake. After working with others to develop a source water protection plan and lake restoration project, we have been working with numerous partners to protect our water supply for the future. Thank you to everyone who has been a part of that,” said Steve Montross, chairperson of the Winterset Utility Board.
About the Clean Water in Iowa Starts Here Campaign
The Clean Water in Iowa Starts Here campaign, created by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) and Newsradio 1040 WHO, aims to raise awareness about the conservation work underway across Iowa, and encourages all Iowans to get personally involved in water quality activities.
The Big Show will visit locations throughout Iowa showcasing the people and practices that are having a positive and measurable impact on water quality. The conversations with farmers, landowners, business operators and conservation leaders will be broadcast Wednesdays on The Big Show airing 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. on WHO and 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. on WMT.
The implementation of conservation practices isn’t limited to rural areas. Urban residents can do their part by keeping leaves, grass clippings and other yard debris out of the street and gutters and slowing runoff and recycling rainwater through rain barrels, rain gardens and swales. These practices act as a filter for oil, fertilizer and other pollutants to prevent them from running into the storm drains. Seeding pollinator habitats and properly disposing of paints, solvents and metals also have a positive impact on water quality.
Clean Water in Iowa Starts Here campaign partners include Agri-Drain, Hagie Manufacturing, Hands on Excavating, Heartland Co-op, Iowa Agriculture Water Alliance, Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Iowa Pork Producers Association, Iowa Soybean Association, Land Improvement Contractors of America, Montag Manufacturing, and The Nature Conservancy.
To learn more about the campaign and conservation practices that can be implemented, go to CleanWaterIowa.org/CleanWaterStartsHere.