Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship Welcomes Applications for Water Quality Demonstration Projects
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig today announced that Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship is accepting applications for water quality demonstration projects. Iowa has a long and well-established track record of utilizing demonstration projects to spur the development of new or improved conservation practices that are helping to protect water quality. The selected projects will help deliver education, outreach, and technical assistance to farmers and landowners to advance the implementation of conservation practices.
“With the assistance of both public and private partners, these water quality projects will help farmers and landowners in establishing additional conservation practices and infrastructure that will positively benefit our state’s water quality in the years ahead,” said Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig. “Continuous conservation innovation paired with long-term dedicated water quality funding will help us accelerate and scale up our efforts to meet the goals outlined in the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy.”
Demonstration projects should focus on outreach and technical assistance that will directly lead to the adoption of water quality focused conservation practices. Successful applicants will need to demonstrate a proven track record of delivering the necessary planning, development, and design of projects and practices. Strong partnerships with stakeholders that have or will be contributing significant resources to the project are also critically important.
Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs), counties, county conservation boards, other units of government, not-for-profit non-governmental organizations (NGOs), public water supply utilities or watershed management organizations are eligible to submit applications. Applicants are also encouraged to partner with additional stakeholders that can assist with outreach and technical assistance.
The applications must be received by 4:30 p.m. on Friday, November 18, 2022. Projects selected to receive funding will be announced in early December and are projected to start on January 1, 2022. Project application guidance can be found here or can be requested by contacting the Department’s Division of Soil Conservation and Water Quality at 515-281-5851.
Background on Iowa Water Quality Initiative
The Iowa Water Quality Initiative was established in 2013 to help implement the Nutrient Reduction Strategy, which is a science and technology-based approach to achieving a 45 percent reduction in nitrogen and phosphorus losses to our waters.
The strategy brings together both point sources, such as municipal wastewater treatment plants and industrial facilities, and nonpoint sources, including farm fields and urban stormwater runoff, to address these issues. The Initiative seeks to harness the collective ability of both private and public resources and organizations to deliver a clear and consistent message to stakeholders to reduce nutrient loss and improve water quality.
Examples of current water quality demonstration projects are available on the Clean Water Iowa website.