Bill Stowe - Nitrogen

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Impacts of Nitrogen Fertilizer Use on Escalating Water Treatment Costs

Bill StoweCEO and General Manager

Description of image.Iowas Industrial Agriculture Reality

20,455,666 hogs in Iowa83.5 pounds of manure per head/per day


Treatment Plant

Recharge Ponds

Drainage Tiling: Increasing Water Quantity while Reducing Water Quality


Stowe, DMWW

Iowa Drainage Districts

Hardin County, IowaTragedy of the Commons: Free use of water resource to move waste


Raccoon River January 2016 Nitrate Load

- University of Iowa IIHR - Hydroscience and Engineering

Nitrate (NO3) in WaterEPA Safe Drinking Water Standard: 10 mg/L.Nitrate levels above the standard are a public health risk. Particularly at risk are infants below six months of age who, if left untreated, could become seriously ill or die.Nitrate treatment not addressed through traditional lime softening/filtration system. Side-stream treatment is required.

Number of Days Source Waters Above the 10 mg/L Nitrate Safe Drinking Water Standard

Costs to Water Treatment Facilities At Farm vs. DownstreamDes Moines Denitrification Costs2015 O&M Costs$1,500,000Estimated Cost for Denitrification Facilities Upgrades $80 million

Paid for by ratepayers

$1.50-$22.00 per pound on the farm $15.00-$47.00 per pound at municipal treatment plant NACWA

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Iowas Wasted ResourcesBillions of dollars in federal ag subsidies with no greater use of conservation practicesNo tie between federal subsidies and long-term accountabilityFooling Ourselves: Voluntary Programs Fail to Clean Up Dirty Water, Environmental Working Group, February 2016

Solutions for Water Quality ImprovementTreat pollution at the source: in-field or edge-of-field solutions.

Transparent measuring and monitoring of protection of public health NPDES compliance.

Agricultural accountability for environmental protection Resources follow accountability, not vice versa.

Sac County, IowaNo other business besides agriculture can run a pipe without regulation into the waters of the state.

Why is agriculture different?


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