Panel Of Experts Discusses Water Quality Issues At Blue Water Festival

Mon 8-15-2016 []

(Arnolds Park)-- A panel discussion on water quality issues was one of the highlights of this past weekend's Blue Water Festival in Arnolds Park. One member of the panel, Susan Heathcoate of the Iowa Environmental Council praised the work that's been done in the Iowa Great Lakes when it comes to water quality improvement...Water Quality Panel-Heathcote  

Panel members agreed that one of the key challenges is over funding. Several, like DNR Director Chuck Gipp, expressed disappointment over the Iowa Legislature failing to pass a funding mechanism...Water Quality Panel-Gipp 

Many on the panel agreed the legislature needs to be influenced to fund a trust fund approved by voters several years ago that's intended to address the issue. When it comes to nitrates and phosporous in Iowa's waterways, Keith Schilling, a research scientist with the United States Geological Society and the University of Iowa says trying to establish a bench mark has been very difficult to do because so many factors come into play...Water Quality Panel-Schilling 

However Sean McMahon, Executive Director of the Iowa Agriculture Alliance, says there is solid proof improvement is being made...Water Quality Panel-McMahon 

But Jennifer Terry of Des Moines Water Works says that while they're happy to see that, that much more needs to be done...Water Quality Panel-Terry 

And when it comes to regulations, DNR Director Chuck Gipp said he feels a one-size fits all approach doesn't work.