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Water and Land Publications

Council Publications

Water and Land Publications

Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy: Policy Solutions to Actually Reduce Nutrient Pollution in Iowa's Water
Using data from the 2019 NRS Annual Report, IEC updated the infographics for the conservation practice rate of implementation. Based on the current data, the rate of implementation has not increased to address the scope of the issue. In May 2021, IEC released a report identifying the shortcomings of the NRS and proposed policy changes that would make significant improvements to Iowa’s water quality and natural resources. These policy changes are necessary to curb nutrient pollution.

Rural Water Systems in Iowa: Analysis of Opportunities and Challenges
In February 2021, IEC released a report on research conducted in collaboration with Dr. Silvia Secchi at the University of Iowa on the challenges and potential for rural water systems. 

Modernizing Agricultural Drainage Law in Iowa
In September 2020, IEC released a report analyzing drainage laws across the Midwest and identifying recommended policies to adopt in Iowa law.

Source Water Protection in Iowa
In February 2020, the Iowa Environmental Council released a white paper on source water protection efforts in Iowa. The paper includes policy recommendations to strengthen source water protection.

Dry Run Creek Watershed Infographic

IEC partnered with Dry Run Creek Watershed staff in 2019 to share the results of their efforts to improve their waterway. IEC produced a handout on the Dry Run Creek project, outlining the watershed goals, the practices implemented, and the impressive outcomes of their work.

The Slow Reality of the Nutrient Reduction Strategy

In July 2019, the Iowa Environmental Council released an analysis of the implementation rates of conservation practices included in the state's Nutrient Reduction Strategy. This analysis reveals slowing adoption rates and timelines to reach NRS goals measured in millenia.

Restoring Iowa's Waters Discussion

In June 2019, IEC's Executive Director Jennifer Terry and new Water Program Director Ingrid Gronstal Anderson were featured on an episode of Iowa Learning Farm's podcast Conservation Chat. The podcast featured a discussion with Jacqueline Comito about restoring Iowa's waters. 

Iowa’s Private Wells Contaminated by Nitrate and Bacteria

On April 24, 2019, the Iowa Environmental Council and the Environmental Working Group published an investigation of the contamination of private wells across Iowa with unsafe levels of two agricultural contaminants; coliform bacteria and nitrate. 

Nitrate in Drinking Water: A Public Health Concern for All Iowans

On September 29, 2016, the Iowa Environmental Council released a new report, “Nitrate in Drinking Water: A Public Health Concern for All Iowans,” an overview of research conducted in Iowa, the U.S. and abroad that indicates the health risks associated with nitrate in drinking water may go beyond blue-baby syndrome.

Healthy Lands, Healthy Waters

In January 2016, the Council released Healthy Lands, Healthy Waters: A Watershed Framework for Iowa, a white paper that lays out the need for and benefits of adopting a watershed approach in Iowa.

Partner Publications


In 2014, AGree, an initiative that seeks to drive positive change in the food and agriculture system by connecting and challenging leaders from diverse communities to catalyze action and elevate food and agriculture as a national priority, released Working Landscapes: Achieving Productivity, Profitability, and Environmental Outcomes. The Council is an AGree member and contributed to the report.

Cultivating Clean Water

In 2010, the Environmental Law and Policy Center (ELPC) and the Mississippi River Collaborative, which the Council is a member of, released Cultivating Clean Water. The report provides an overview of existing state programs that regulate runoff pollution from agriculture and gives a template for creating effective regulations that work well for farmers and the environment.