The DNR’s 2020 Impaired Waters List was released last week. It shows that one of Iowa’s biggest sources of water pollution is factory farms. Bacteria, algal growth and fish kills are the top causes of impairments, all of which can be directly related to factory farms and the massive output of manure they create.
Iowa continues to prioritize corporate agribusiness profits over clean water for Iowans. Instead of addressing our water pollution crisis at the source — factory farms — we continue to pour millions of dollars into failing programs. This report makes it clear that we urgently need a moratorium on factory farms.
Bills that would establish a moratorium have languished in the Iowa Legislature for years now, and it’s clear that our water crisis has only worsened in that time. This is why in March of 2019 Food & Water Watch and Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement filed a lawsuit against the state of Iowa for their failure to protect our water for the use and benefit of the people. The lawsuit seeks a factory farm moratorium within the Raccoon River watershed, as well as the establishment of a mandatory nutrient reduction strategy. As long as our leaders refuse to implement any real solutions to Iowa’s water crisis, we will continue to see our water sacrificed for corporate profit.