Letter: Support trust fund for better water quality

Glad to see in Thursday’s Gazette that the State Legislator will pass a water bill during the 2018 session (“Quick action expected on water quality”). Here is why we need this legislation.

Water is not a renewable resource, all the water on Earth is all the water that we have. We cannot manufacture more, so in that sense, it is finite, it cannot be renewed. So, 97.5 percent of the water on the Earth is salt water, and 3 percent is fresh water; slightly over two thirds of this is frozen in glaciers and polar ice caps. The remaining unfrozen freshwater is found mainly as groundwater, with only a small fraction (0.008 percent) present above ground or in the air. Fresh water in Iowa is very vulnerable of contamination. We use water for washing and cleaning but keeping the water clean is a challenge.

There is a way Iowans can help clean our water through the Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund. This fund was created by an overwhelming majority of Iowa voters in 2010, is a permanent and constitutionally protected funding source to ensure natural spaces are preserved for generations to come. Iowa law requires the legislature to pass and the governor to sign into law a sales tax increase of 3/8 of one cent to fund the trust fund. Polling shows increasing the sales tax is supported by more than 60 percent of Iowans. Encourage your Legislators to vote for the tax increase.

Judy Smith McDowell

Cedar Rapids

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