Iowa’s Secretary of Agriculture is introducing a new urban conservation program he says will work to improve the impact water runoff from cities and towns has on waterway. Bill Northey says the Ag Department has worked for years on water runoff issues impacting farmland, but found that wasn’t covering everything.
Northey says there’s a lot of urban water that moves off streets and parking lots, and this program will hire four urban conservationists that will help people in the planning process to deal with the runoff. Northey says there’s a lot of new technology that can be used to handle the urban water runoff and help minimize its impact on lakes and rivers. He says the conservationists will be a resource, not a regulator, as there are already state, local and federal regulations.
Northey says they will help developers understand the new technology. He says the four will be spread across the state. He says they’ll be in Pottawattamie, Dickinson, Johnson, and Polk counties. Northey says the funds from the Resource Enhancement and Protection program will fund the positions and are designed to supplement the work currently being done in the 100 soil and water conservation districts across the state. Right now the program is being funded for one year.