April 20, 2015
This week’s On the Radio segment looks at favorable public opinion of the currently underway Des Moines Water Works lawsuit. Listen to the audio below, or continue reading for the transcript.
Transcript: Water Works Suit
A strong majority of Iowans favor the current Des Moines Water Works lawsuit aimed at counties with high nutrient runoff, according to a recent survey.
This is the Iowa Environmental Focus.
A Des Moines Register poll conducted in February found that 63 percent of Iowans believe the Des Moines water utility is right to pursue a lawsuit against three northwest Iowa drainage districts. The Water Works has recorded nitrate levels six times higher than the federal limit for drinking water in parts of the Raccoon River that are fed by drainages in Sac, Buena Vista and Calhoun counties. These high nitrate levels create headaches for the utility, which is required to activate a facility to remove the nutrients at a cost of about 4,000 dollars per day.
The lawsuit intends to bring farmers in the northwest Iowa counties under the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act. Farmers are currently applying Iowa’s voluntary Nutrient Reduction Strategy as an attempt to reduce nutrient runoff.
For continued updates on the Water Works lawsuit, visit IowaEnvironmentalFocus.org.
From the UI Center for Global & Regional Environmental Research, I’m Jerry Schnoor.