Iowa officially releases new clean water strategy

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — State officials have released a new plan for reducing water pollution from city and industrial wastewater treatment plants and from farms but environmental groups say it lacks clear goals and timelines.

The Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy, first unveiled in November, became the state’s official policy for improving water quality on Wednesday.

Supported by Gov. Terry Branstad, it is a product of the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa Department of Natural Resources and Iowa State University.

The agencies say it is a cost-effective science-based approach.

Critics say voluntary farmer participation won’t work and it will take decades to see any improvement in water quality under the plan.

Iowa Environmental Council Executive Ralph Rosenberg says Iowans witnessing record nitrate levels threatening drinking water want cleaner water now.

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