Earth Day water symposium will include debate on Des Moines Water Works lawsuit

An icy section of the Raccoon River near Columbus Park in Des Moines. (Michael Leland/Flickr)
An icy section of the Raccoon River near Columbus Park in Des Moines. (Michael Leland/Flickr)
KC McGinnis | April 21, 2016

A water quality symposium will take place in Des Moines on Friday, April 22, Earth Day.

The symposium is part of the Iowa Academy of Science’s annual conference being held at Grand View University this weekend. It will be held at 2 p.m. in the Student Center – Speed Lyceum.

The 2-and-a-half hour symposium, now in its fourth year, will feature seven speakers to discuss the water quality issues that led to the Des Moines Water Work lawsuit and how those issues can be addressed both inside and outside the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy. The speakers include:

Jerry Anderson, Drake Law School professor. Anderson will provide an overview of Iowa’s nitrate issues.

Matt Liebman, Professor of Agronomy and Henry A. Wallace Endowed Chair for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University professor. Liebman will talk about how native prairie can be used to prevent erosion that leads to nitrate runoff.

Lora Friest, of the Northeast Iowa Resource Conservation, will talk about the watershed work she is involved in that is related to the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy. CGRER featured her work in a 2015 hydrologic network documentary.

Fred Kirschenmann, of the Leopold Center, will talk about a 50 year farm bill that uses native prairie plants bred for human and animal consumption.

Kathleen DeLate, Professor of Horticulture at Iowa State University, will talk about the role small and organic farms can have in reducing nutrient pollution.

Bill Stowe, General Manager of the Des Moines Water Works, will present arguments for the DMWW lawsuit.

Steve Bruere, President, People’s Co., who will present arguments against the DMWW lawsuit.

Question & Answer sessions will follow each speaker segment. The event is free and open to the public.

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