A report by a University of Iowa researcher for a private group says the state could improve its water quality efforts and see economic benefits as a result. Peter Weyer looked at water quality programs in Iowa and its neighboring states in research for the Iowa Policy Project in Mount Vernon. Weyer says Iowa has some good programs, but could use some more focus. He says it appears that some of the sources of funding are not using all the money that they have for watershed quality activities. Weyer says there is sometimes a lack of coordination among state agencies and their programs. He says they heard in Iowa and other states that the coordination is lacking mainly in the involvement of the public, and getting public opinion and involvement in what is happening in their own watersheds. Weyer says the study shows Iowa could benefit by using the clean water plans as economic development tools. He says you’d look at clean water as part of an infrastructure of an area similar to roads and sewers. He says if you could clean up the lakes and ponds, people could use them for recreation and it would be a plus for attracting new business. To sum it up, Weyer says the report finds the state can make the good things it’s doing better. He says they’re doing some good things, and they came to the conclusion that we need to get more creative, work more with the public-private partnerships. For more, surf to:www.iowapolicyproject.org.
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