Dead Zones & Drinking Water: Farming’s Nutrient Loss Challenge

Posted in: Contamination, US News
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(Photo credit: Jonathan Coppess, University of Illinois , AG Professional)

Article courtesy of Jonathan Coppess, University of Illinois| December 31, 2015 | Shared as educational material

Claiming millions of dollars to fix the problem, in March of 2015 the Des Moines Water Work (DMWW) sued three drainage districts from farmlands in Iowa because of nitrate problems in the Des Moines drinking supplies. DMWW serves 500,000 customers. Nutrient rich farm fertilizers drain millions of metric tons of nitrogen down the Mississippi River and into the Gulf of Mexico, leading to the death of aquatic life. The DMWW lawsuit is novel in claiming that the discharge drainage tiles are point sources of pollution, and thus regulated by the Clean Water Act. This particular lawsuit aside, farmers face economic losses from nutrient loss in their fields, defense against lawsuits, and costly compliance with regulations that require reduction of nutrient pollutants. Read more here: http://bit.ly/1ZDH348

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