Water Quality in First Bill Governor Signs

Hundreds of millions of dollars will be poured into water quality efforts in Iowa when Governor Kim Reynolds signed Senate File 512 into law.

The bill is the first she signed as governor and provides $282 million over 12 years.

Reynolds pointed to demonstration projects across the state, she says the funding in Senate File 512 will take the proven methods from those and apply them on a broader scale to the rest of Iowa.

She says that the bill will also encourage best practices from a watershed perspective, "It really does take all of those stakeholders coming together to really get the outcomes that we're looking for. So, we've said all along we need to show that we're serious about this and to look for some dedicated, ongoing revenue source and that's what this provides."

Reynolds maintains the water quality effort is not over with the funding now in place, adding legislators are already drafting a bill to keep moving forward on water quality.

Iowa's Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig says state funding of water quality doesn't work alone. They work hard to leverage local, federal, private, and landowner investment.

Last year $420 million were spent in Iowa on practices to improve water quality. Naig says in the 56 demonstration projects, the state has invested $22 million, which has been matched with $32 million in partner contributions.

Naig says, "And this additional funding, will allow us to reach out and add new partners to strengthen existing partnerships and to gather and deploy the right resources, at the right time, in the right place."