Des Moines tries cooperation to reduce farm runoff

Farm Pollution Cooperation

Des Moines Water Works CEO Ted Corrigan speaks during a Plots in the Park media event, Tuesday, May 24, 2022, in Des Moines, Iowa. Des Moines Water Works has for years engaged in a bitter struggle to clean up drinking water that comes from rivers teeming with agricultural pollutants, resorting to filing lawsuits, proposing legislation and even public shaming to force farmers to reduce runoff from their fields. None of it worked, so now they are trying another approach — inviting farmers to learn the latest techniques for reducing pollution at riverfront plots of corn and soybeans in the sprawling park where the utility filters the city’s drinking water. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

DES MOINES, I.A. (AP) — A Des Moines utility has filed lawsuits, proposed legislation and even tried public shaming in an effort to clean up drinking water that comes from rivers teeming with agricultural pollutants.

None of it has worked, so Des Moines Water Works is trying another approach.

The utility is working with grain cooperative Landus to teach farmers the latest techniques for reducing pollution at riverfront plots of corn and soybeans in the sprawling park where the utility filters the city’s drinking water.

It’s a surprising turn in a long-running dispute between the state’s dominant industry and a utility that supplies drinking water to 600,000 customers in Iowa’s largest metro area.

Categories: National News