Tag Archives: farm bill

Partnerships for Clean Water: The Norm or the Exception?

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This year the City of Cedar Rapids and 15 partner organizations launched a $4.3 million project focused on improving soil health, water quality and water quantity in Iowa’s Middle Cedar watershed, a 2,417 square mile watershed which is part of the larger Cedar River watershed.  The Middle Cedar Partnership Project, made possible thanks to funding […]

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March Water Madness

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Everyone loves holidays and observances.  Whether it be a national holiday like Independence Day, a religious or secular holiday or even an unofficial holiday – such as International Talk Like a Pirate Day – we all have our favorites.  March happens to be choke-full of fun unofficial holidays that are meaningful to the clean water […]

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With Crisis Comes Opportunity

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The recent crisis in Toledo where toxic algae blooms led to the shut off of municipal water to almost half a million people serves as a painful reminder that we should not take clean water for granted, something we as a nation are too often prone to do.  
The culprit in the Toledo case – toxic […]

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RCPP Ushers In New Era of Collaborative Conservation

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) launched the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) last week which encourages partnerships between agricultural producers and municipal entities, such as water and wastewater utilities, to help farmers tackle various conservation and environmental issues on a regional scale.  Almost $400 million will be available in the first full year to […]

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Put Cover Crops to Work in Your Watershed

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A couple of weeks ago, Patricia Sinicropi wrote an excellent blog on the new opportunities for water and agricultural interests to work together in the new Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) included in the 2014 Farm Bill. It is well known in water quality circles that investing in agricultural best management practices can be a […]

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It’s Time to Walk the Talk!

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By enacting the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) in the 2014 Farm Bill, Congress has extended an opportunity for the municipal wastewater community to prove what we’ve been saying for decades: if we want to see serious reductions of nutrient loadings in surface waters, it’s far more effective to invest in best management practices on […]

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The Farm Bill and the Fight to Reduce Nutrient Run-Off

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Nutrient runoff is the greatest water quality challenge facing the United States today.  According to State water quality reports, 80,000 miles of rivers and streams, 2.5 million acres of lakes, reservoirs and ponds, 78% of the assessed continental U.S. coastal areas and more than 30% of estuaries are impaired due to excessive levels of nitrogen […]

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Senate Takes Baby Steps Toward Improved Nutrient Management on the Farm. Will Farmers (and Wastewater Utilities) Follow Along?

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The Senate Farm Bill proposes a small but important step toward encouraging better nutrient management practices by farmers. This is accomplished in a newly created Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) that provides special five-year conservation funding to farmers who undertake nutrient management activities in critical conservation areas. Although yet to be enacted by Congress, the […]

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Why Are Nonpoint Sources Being Ignored?

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We know that over 300 coastal estuaries suffer some degree of hypoxic conditions where aquatic life cannot survive due to excessive nutrient loads in these waters. We know that over a third of all rivers and streams and over half of all lakes cannot support the uses for which States have determined ought to be supported in these waters, such as swimming or fishing, due to the presence of excessive nutrient loads. We also know that over 1.5 million people rely on drinking water from groundwater wells contaminated by excessive levels of nitrates, a pollutant controlled under the Safe Drinking Water Act. [ … ]

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