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Clean Water Issues Uniting Iowa Residents

October 13, 2008

Des Moines, IA – Clean water will top the agenda this week as the annual conference of the Iowa Environmental Council (IEC) gets underway in Des Moines - and there are plenty of issues to discuss, from summer flooding to fish kills to animal manure in water supplies.

Lynn Laws, IEC communications director, says land-use practices have changed dramatically in the last ten years, and that's affecting water quality just about everywhere.

"Whatever we put on the land is going to eventually make its way into the water, unless we treat the land in a way that allows it to absorb that water, and clean it up before it gets to our lakes. Everything flows downstream - and we all live downstream from somebody."

Laws says conference participants will explore the ways humans have altered the Iowa landscape over the years and the effects on water quality. It's a topic, she adds, about which Iowa residents are greatly concerned.

"When we've done surveys, what we see is that Iowans really care. They really 'get it.' They realize that water quality is a big issue in Iowa, and drinking water is always a major priority for individuals."

The conference is open to the public. Laws says it would be especially helpful for people interested in working with a watershed association or a community improvement project, and for urban and rural planning. The one-day conference begins at 8:00 a.m. Friday at the Botanical Center in Des Moines. Learn more about the agenda online, at Laws says walk-ins are welcome.

David Law/Craig Eicher, Public News Service - IA