Public hearing on the Des Moines Water Works governance bill

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Contact your legislators TODAY and ask them to oppose HF 316!

TARGETS in the Iowa Senate:Zaun, Whitver, Schneider, Chapman + Democrats + Johnson = 25

According to the Des Moines Register, Despite opposition, Des Moines Water Works bill advances in Iowa Senate– Feb. 23, 2017

Legislation to dismantle the Des Moines Water Works, West Des Moines and Urbandale water boards was approved last Tuesday by the Iowa House Ag Committee.

Dane Schumann, a lobbyist for the Des Moines Water Works (as well as Iowa Rivers Revival), told lawmakers there are already provisions in Iowa law to permit the establishment of a regional water authority.

“It is clear to most people in the room that this bill is about one thing. It is about eliminating the lawsuit,” Schumann said.
Linda Kinman of the Iowa Association of Water Agencies told lawmakers that regionalization of water facilities needs to be accomplished through partnership and cooperation, “not with a hammer coming down saying that you are forced into regionalization.”

Sen. Kevin Kinney, D-Oxford, has opposed the bill, saying lawmakers should create an interim committee to examine issues related to the proposal over the summer months.

We believe this bill is bad for the metro- rates will increase, economic development and safe drinking water will become politicized; additionally, this bill as written has NOTHING at all to do with a regional water utility (in fact, it’s not event mentioned).

The bill was introduced by Representative Jarad Klein- a hog farmer from Keota, Iowa (over 100 miles from Des Moines Water Works service area) who has no business dictating the utility services of central Iowans. 

This bill represents centralized power in the city of Des Moines-not regionalization.  Regionalization should be up to the region to decide- not rushed and done behind closed doors by special interests.  Rates are almost guaranteed to rise for consumers—perhaps double. 

The people of central Iowa deserve to have their voices heard, but more importantly- they deserve affordable and transparent access to clean, safe drinking water.
Public Hearing:
Monday, March 6, 10:00-11:00 AM
Room 103, Iowa State Capitol


 

Contact your legislators TODAY

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Contact your legislators TODAY and ask them to oppose HF 316!

 

An attempt is being made at the Iowa Legislature to “reorganize” Des Moines Water Works after 150 years of delivering safe and affordable drinking water to Iowans.  House File 316 was introduced by Rep. Jarad Klein, a Farm Bureau member from Keota in SE Iowa, far from DMWW service area.

Today’s Des Moines Register editorial states: “Bill Stowe, the CEO and general manager of the Water Works, says the bill is payback. He says lawmakers are retaliating for the utility’s lawsuit against rural drainage districts that allegedly channel high levels of nitrates into the Raccoon River, forcing the Water Works to spend millions on cleanup so the water can be made safe to drink. A new board could drop the lawsuit.”

The lawsuit was filed to protect Iowa residents.  Water quality is not a partisan issue and it does not care what your socio-economic status or your address is.  This is a health and quality-of-life issue for Iowans.

10 parts per million (ppm) of Nitrates in drinking water is the MAXIMUM that the United States Environmental Protection Agency supports for human consumption and we drink close to it every day.

The Des Moines City Council voted behind closed doors last week in favor of the bill.  Mayor Cownie justified his support for Klein’s bill by stating it was the “lesser of two evils” (in reference to a similar but even worse bill introduced last session).

In what world should Iowans have to choose a scenario that involves evil in our drinking water?  This session, legislators were supposed to be talking about SOLUTIONS to complicated, state-wide water quality issues, not dismantling over 100 years of community investment that Des Moines Water Works has coordinated.

IRR Mission: to help Iowans restore, protect, and enjoy our rivers.

IRR Vision: clean, free-flowing Iowa rivers teaming with life, surrounded by diverse landscapes, and connecting vibrant communities. 

We cannot turn our backs on Des Moines Water Works, the ONE entity that is willing to stand up and fight for cleaner water, the life source we require.  The systemic pollution of our most precious natural resource must be stopped.  We need you.  We need your voice to be heard.  We need our elected officials to understand that we will not stand for this attack on the environment.  We do not want to be the next Flint, Michigan.  We will fight for the health and safety of Iowans, and we expect our public officials to do so as well.

Ask your lawmakers to OPPOSE HF 316 and its retaliation against Des Moines Water Works!

Leadership through Advocacy.

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Thanks to Jeff Bullock and the University of Dubuqe for the opportunity to talk about leadership in the world of rivers.  Please take a moment and check out the post and interviews!

 

 

Be a Master River Steward!

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Iowa Rivers Revival is happy to announce that there will be multiple chances statewide this year to become a Master River Steward!   In 2016, IRR was able to train certified Master River Stewards Program (MRSP) instructors across the state, who in turn are bringing the program to you!  The aim of MRSP is to engage and educate Iowans about a broad range of river issues, and to create a citizenry that is knowledgeable and will advocate for Iowa rivers so that current and future generations can enjoy these important natural resources.

MRSP brings 32 hours of instruction to Iowans on:

  • Watersheds
  • River and stream dynamics
  • River and riparian habitats and wildlife
  • River paddling and navigation
  • River chemistry and water monitoring
  • River and stream restoration and stewardship
  • Policies related to protecting river and stream water quality
  • Group projects will be conducted following the course in the participants own communities

Below is a schedule of upcoming courses, linked with contact information for their location.   Please do not hesitate to contact one of the groups below or IRR with questions.  Hope you can join us!

IRR is looking for the 2017 “River Town of the Year”

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Iowa Rivers Revival is now accepting nominations for the 2017 “River Town of the Year.”  The deadline is January 6, 2017.

This annual award recognizes and celebrates an Iowa town or city for outstanding efforts to reclaim river-fronts as anchors for economic development, recreation, and good ecological practices.  Cities are invited to apply for the award, or citizens may nominate their town.

We are excited to learn about what communities are doing across the state to protect and enhance their local rivers and streams.  This award provides and opportunity to showcase local stewardship and inspire others.

The award will be presented early 2017 at a reception hosted by Iowa Rivers Revival in the “River Town of the Year” community  and at a separate event at the Iowa State Capitol.   IRR will also work to provide additional opportunities to promote and recognize the “River Town of the Year” through media and river-related events.
To view the application and for more River Town of the Year information, please see our River Town of the Year page.

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