Water challenges are facing communities and regions across the United States, impacting millions of lives and costing billions of dollars in damages. These challenges are particularly problematic in predominantly poor, minority, or rural communities, where water inequality can go hand-in-hand with socioeconomic inequality. Earlier this week, the White House hosted a Water Summit as part of World Water Day (March 22) to shine a spotlight on the importance of cross-cutting, creative solutions to solving the water problems of today, as well as to highlight the innovative strategies that will catalyze change in how we use, conserve, protect, and think about water in the years to come.
More than 150 external institutions are joining the Federal government in announcing new efforts and commitments to enhance the sustainability of water in the United States by managing our water resources and infrastructure for the long term. The USDA Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) that HEI has shared news on previously
is one of the many commitments announced.
The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship
and Iowa Agriculture Water Alliance
are co-leading the Midwest Agriculture Water Quality Partnership (MAWQP), a $47M public-private partnership that leverages a $9.5M RCPP award from USDA. MAWQP announced its first major effort: the launch of a new Platform Integration Pilot, which will combine conservation and business-planning tools and environmental metrics from Field to Market’s Fieldprint® Calculator to help farmers and agribusinesses implement conservation practices and more efficiently use resources like fertilizer, reducing nutrient loss and improving water quality and farm profitability. The partnership estimates that this pilot will reach 10,000 farmers and improve resource management on at least 50,000 acres of farmland.
As one of the RCPP partners, HEI’s decision support system work
and watershed planning
complements many of the partners’ interests and the key concepts that will be implemented by the project, including:
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- developing water quality metrics
- providing enhanced geospatial products in a format for use within the fieldprint calculator
- providing watershed planning assistance, specifically targeted implementation plan development
- integrating technology