Water quality protection projects protect the state’s surface and groundwater resources from point and non-point sources of contamination. Authorized in Iowa Code Chapter 161C, projects are developed through a locally led process initiated by soil and water conservation districts,coordinating the resources and programs of a variety of organizations to achieve local objectives. Project applications consider the importance of the resource to be protected, the nature and extent of the water quality concern, proposed solutions, landowner interest, and the overall cost effectiveness of the project.
Water quality protection projects commonly use the watershed approach to address water quality problems. this approach involvers the assessment of all possible sources that may have an affect on water quality in the project area. It provides the most comprehensive, efficient and effective way to achieve soil and water quality protection objectives. Successful projects usually have a high level of community support and include strong public information and education programs. They also feature partnerships with federal, state and local agencies and organizations.
These projects have effectively improved water quality in watersheds above publicly owned lakes, trout streams, high use recreation areas, drinking water sources, urban developments and aquifer recharge areas. Practices commonly utilized in projects include permanent soil and water conservation practices (terraces, basins, etc.), temporary management practices (no-till, nutrient management, etc.) as well as urban erosion and storm water management practices (silt fences, bio-swales, ect.)
Funding of projects is provided through the Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP) Program and the Watershed Protection fund with additional funding is available through the Iowa Department of Natural Resources from US Environmental Protection Agency, Section 319 funds.
Watershed & Water Quality Project Impementation
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