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Water in the News

March 2, 2015

Will Des Moines water lawsuit change farming rules?
The Des Moines Register

A Des Moines, Iowa, utility’s plan to sue three northwest counties for polluting central the state’s drinking water supply may have broad ramifications for state and U.S. farmers, who environmentalists complain have been too slow to embrace meaningful conservation practices. It’s too soon to say exactly how Des Moines Water Works’ threatened lawsuit could play out in farm fields across Iowa and the nation. But agriculture experts and environmentalists are closely watching the case.

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Hypoxia Task Force develops new strategies for nutrient reduction in Mississippi River, Gulf of Mexico
Water World

The 12 states of the Hypoxia Task Force have announced that they are devising new strategies to speed up reduction of nutrient levels in waterways in the Mississippi/Atchafalaya River Basin. The HTF is a partnership of five federal agencies, tribes and environmental quality, agricultural and conservation agencies from 12 basin states working to address nutrient pollution and the hypoxic zone, or dead zone, in the Gulf of Mexico.

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EPA, Army Corps officially withdraw Waters of the US Interpretive Rule
Farm Futures

The EPA and Army Corps of Engineers on Jan. 30 issued a memorandum of understanding to withdraw the Waters of the U.S. Interpretive Rule, which outlines which conservation activities provide farmers an exemption from Clean Water Act permitting. Congress requested that EPA and Army Corps withdraw the IR in its “Cromnibus” funding legislation, passed in December.

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Here’s how to end Iowa’s great nitrate fight

Nitrogen fertilizer turns into nitrate, which can run into streams and waterways. During the summer, when crops are growing on fields, they scarf up most of the soil’s available nitrate. The plants need it to grow. And as a result, during that period, there’s usually not much nitrate flowing into streams and rivers. The problem is, most crops are only grown for five months out of the year in Iowa.

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Taskforce strives to improve water management
The Shreveport Times

An LSU AgCenter taskforce is identifying ways to help farmers irrigate more efficiently and improve water quality. The group brings together AgCenter extension agents and researchers who are working to fill data gaps and enhance outreach efforts as Louisiana farmers face increasingly complex decisions about water management.

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