Register report highlights what Iowa can learn from Minnesota on water quality


Lake of the Isles in Minneapolis, Minnesota (urbanfoodie33/Creative Commons)
Lake of the Isles in Minneapolis, Minnesota (urbanfoodie33/Creative Commons)
KC McGinnis | May 26, 2016

A Sunday Des Moines Register investigation into Minnesota’s water quality practices may contain lessons for Iowans.

A year after Minnesota’s Pollution Control Agency found that half of the state’s lakes in heavy farming areas were not suitable for swimming because of toxic algal blooms caused by nutrient runoff, the state provided a massive funding push that brought together farmers and water authorities to improve water quality. The program, which still had voluntary elements for farmers, included mandatory buffer strips for public waterways, advanced testing procedures, and watershed approaches similar to those being used in parts of Iowa.

While Minnesotans still report having a long way to go in bringing water quality up to the standards they want, their approach so far may be a model for Iowans moving forward. Read the full in-depth Resister story here.

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