Northwest Iowa — The Iowa Soybean Association’s board of directors has voted unanimously to spend $150-thousand to help three northwest Iowa counties defend themselves against a federal lawsuit brought by the Des Moines Water Works.
Association C-E-O Kirk Leeds says the organization supports Buena Vista, Sac, and Calhoun counties because the suit could impact farmers statewide and this will bring a quicker end to the case.
He says the court action takes away from the cooperative and proactive approach farmers have taken on water quality and nutrient management.
He says the suit is also hurting efforts by farmers and the utility itself from implementing programs and practices to address water quality.
That’s money he says could have been invested in improving the water works’ facilities and in helping farmers to make the needed changes. The lawsuit filed in March of 2015 charges the county supervisors allegedly allowed nitrates coming from 10 drainage districts to pollute the Raccoon River, a primary water source for 500,000 customers in Des Moines. The case is scheduled to go to trial in June of 2017.